Over 100 transformers damaged in South Kashmir during violence

Adil Lateef
SRINAGAR, Sept 13: Besides heavy loss of human lives and property, over 100 power transformers have been damaged in four districts of South Kashmir during ongoing violence between protesters and security forces and as a result several villages have plunged into darkness.
The officials of Power Development Department (PDD) told Excelsior that the transformers in dozens of hamlets and villages of Shopian, Anantnag, Pulwama and Kulgam districts have been damaged during stone-throwing clashes since July 8 when violent phase of unrest rooted in South Kashmir started after the killing of militant commander Burhan Muzzafar Wani and his two associates.
The PDD officials said that the transformers have been damaged in live firing, teargas shelling and pellet firing in the south Kashmir areas during confrontation between violent protesters and security forces. “Intentionally or unintentionally, the power transformers become target during clashes, resulting in power breakdown to the villages and localities,” they said.
The villages and hamlets where power transformers have been damaged include Kalam, Kadipora, Zamalgam, Dooru, Qazigund, Botengoo, Wanpoh, Khudwani, Wachi, Gavanapora, Aishmuqam, Verinag, Brakpora, Dallipora, Memandar, Pinjoora, Pulwama Town and Tukura. In Shopian’s Pinjoora, Memandar and Tukura alone, six, seven and six transformers respectively were damaged in past few days during clashes.
Admitting that large numbers of power transformers suffered damages during the ongoing violence in South Kashmir districts, PDD Chief Engineer, Bashir Ahmad, said that they have repaired many damaged transformers in those areas which are accessible. “However, we have those areas as well where our men couldn’t reach because of the prevailing volatile situation,” he said.
In wake of the damage to the transformers, several South Kashmir villages have plunged into darkness and even on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha, they will have to bear the darkness in absence of electric supply. The PDD officials said that they cannot risk the lives of their staff and other employees in the prevailing situation. “There is no question of going into volatile villages. We know Eid was coming but we have to think about our employees’ as well and they matter the most to us,” they said.
According to the PDD officials, the situation, however, in Central and Northern districts of the Valley, including in summer capital Srinagar, is better.
“So far, except South Kashmir, we have not received any information about the damage to power transformers in Srinagar and other districts,” they said. But, in the starting days of the unrest, a few transformers got damaged in Chanapora area of city here during stone-throwing clashes. They were repaired shortly and the electric supply was restored.

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