February 2016 News

Tral Shuts In Protest Against Installation Of HT Meters

2 February 2016
Rising Kashmir
Javid U Salam

Srinagar: A complete shutdown was observed on Tuesday in Tral town of Pulwama district against installation of High Tension (HT) meters on transformers by Power Development Department (PDP). In response to shutdown call given by Traders Federation, Trade Union and Civil Society Tral, over the issue of installing HT meters in the town, all shops in the main town remained closed. Residents also took out a protest rally from main bus stand to SDM (Sub District Magistrate) office chanting slogans against PDD and demanded that the HT meters already installed be withdrawn. Protesters were led by Peoples Democratic Party MLA from Tral constituency, Mushtaq Ahmad Shah. Shah on the occasion said that the concerned department should make the transmission system efficient. 'The department should upgrade and augment the basic transmission system in terms of LT lines and electric poles in phase one and they can install the meters in phase second,' he said. The MLA demanded immediate suspension of installing the HT meters in the town. Bashir Ahmad Jan, a senior citizen of Tral and member of civil society South Kashmir said that the power department is hell bent to inflict sufferings on Tral residents. 'The department had installed LT meters in town in 2006. They don't take reading from the meters and charge a flat rate from the consumers,' he said, adding that they did not find any point in installing these HT meters now. He said that the point authorities in PDD are making that they want to put an end to power theft by installing these meters is only eyewash. 'The suppliers of these devices have filled coffers of corrupt officials and in the backdrop of stopping power theft they want to cover up their wrong doings,' he said, adding that the department can save up to 30 percent of electricity by minimizing transmission loss. The residents further said that if they want to install the HT meters they should install them everywhere. 'Why only towns and not villages,' the residents questioned, warning they would go for an indefinite shutdown if the department doesn't stop installing the meters. The Executive Engineer (Xen) Power Development Department, Awantipora division, Muzaffar Jan Matoo said that the proposal of installing HT meters was moved few years ago for towns which have more than ten thousand population in accordance with 2001 census. 'The devices were meant to monitor electricity consumption at a particular transformer and will not affect any consumer,' he said. He further said that they follow instructions from higher authorities of Power Development Department and it is prerogative of higher authorities whether to proceed or not.