Srinagar, Mar 06 (KNS): Amid resorting to prolong power cuts, the Power Development Department has sought the police assistance to stop power thefts in Kashmir.

There have been severe power cuts since the Durbar (highest seat of governance) shifted to Jammu on October 27.“If people use electricity judiciously and pay as per the consumption then there won’t be power cuts. We are trying to adhere the curtailment schedule as approved by the government,” an official of the Power Department told KNS.As per the power curtailment schedule approved by PDD, the metered areas will be subjected to at least 4-hour power cuts while the non metered areas will face upto 8-hour power cuts.

The official said the department had taken several measures to stop the misuse of electricity in the Valley. “We have formed various teams who are conducting inspections to stop power pilferage. All the departments including police are fully cooperating with the PDD to stop power theft. All those who resort to power pilferage will be heavily fined besides that FIRs will also be lodged where power theft grossly take place. We have also sought the police assistance if there is some resistance from the public in creating hurdles in the works of inspection teams,” the official said.

Earlier, the State Vigilance Commission had asked the PDD to register FIRs in all cases of electricity theft or illegal power connections that come to the fore and monitor the progress of investigation and trial thereof.A senior PDD official told KNS that there was already a provision in the State Electricity Act for strict action against a consumer who resorts to power theft. “But there is only lack of implementation of the Act in the state. The power theft increase during winters even though fine had been imposed against such people in the past. So it has been decided to file cases against those who often resort to power thefts,” the official added.

The increase in power curtailment both in metered and non-metered areas of the Valley has evoked strong public outrage. “Ours is a non-metered area and there are around 14 hour power cuts in a day,” Mohammad Altaf, a resident of Mehjoor Nagar said.Similar complaints are also pouring in from metered areas where there are abrupt power cuts around eight hours in a day. “We witness frequent power cuts from the last few months month. We are bound to get 24 hour electricity supply as per the rules but the PDD often resorts to power cuts of around eight-hours in a day,” Nazir Ahmad, a resident of Lalbazaar said.People said when meters were installed in their areas, the department had promised round-the-clock supply. [(KNS)Northlines]