Residents of the Banjar valley have threatened to stage a protest against the electricity department if it fails to provide stable and uninterrupted power supply in the area that has been hit by endemic outages during the past few months. They said due to long power cuts they had been facing severe hardship in heating their homes and cooking food.
Last December's heavy snowfall damaged electricity poles and cables, disrupting power supply for a week in the entire district. However, due to the apathy of electricity department officials, supply in several villages remains erratic more than a month later. According to locals, frequent power cuts in villages in the Banjar valley including Gusheni, Bedagaah, Palahach, Pargali, Chahani and Deutha have become commonplace.
Expressing resentment over the dismal situation, Nokha Singh, Shyam Dasi and Suraj Prakash, residents of Gushaini, Pragali and Deutha villages, respectively, said: “Regular power cuts are affecting our daily life, especially students, who are suffering a lot as most of them prefer to study in the evening and early morning.
We requested electricity department officials many times to resolve the problem but they haven't paid any heed. We've now decided to protest if nothing is done. Apart from this, streetlights of ward no 7 in Banjar town have remained dysfunctional for the past one and half month,” said Banjar gram panchayat chief Arun Kumar.
When contacted, the department's superintendent of engineer, Pravesh Thakur, said: “These days we're engaged in maintenance work on electricity poles and cables in the area which were severely damaged during the recent snowfall. To provide power supply in the area these days valley have been made facilitated through Pandoh power grid, which was earlier connected with the Bajoura power grid, but voltage is not as sufficient as it should be, this is the main reason behind irregular power supply in the region.”