Abrar Mattoo –
An Astonishing matter came into fore in which a landlord holding 40 Kanals of land at Khimber, Srinagar illegally displaced seven poles of 11KV HT tap line traversing through his land and installed new poles temporarily with stones instead of concrete, without completing the process of earthing, which continues to endanger the lives and property of nearby villagers.
An exclusive investigation carried out by QNSTv revealed that the landlord, identified as Nayeem, (or perhaps via his associates) illegally shifted 7 poles of the 11KV HT tap line on the intervening night of 29-12-2023 in complete haste, leaving everything in dangerous situation. It was also found that the poles from the old line were not deposited, as it should have been with JE stores of KPDCL.
According to a senior official of KPDCL, there is a whole procedure for changing the lines which he described as follows –
“Firstly, when an applicant moves an application for shifting HT line, it has to be accompanied by a site plan.
Following this, the concerned JE gives a no-objection certificate. Then Exen conducts inspection, KPDCL, which is a single authority for the whole of the Kashmir division, gives a clearance.
Later, (in both cases whether an applicant wishes to bear the costs himself or the department pays for it) the concerned JE gives a tentative estimate & directions for the usage of the material to be used.
Then the application is forwarded to the Superintending Engineer (SE) who sanctions the approval. After approval, The contract is awarded to a first-class contractor that is essentially registered with KPDCL who at the allotted time of shifting informs the AEE so that the concerned receiving station can shut down the “Live Line” till the shifting is carried out. The details regarding the shutdown time are jotted in the log sheet maintained by the receiving station. Once the shifting is carried out, the HT Poles is deposited with the JE stores.”
In the said case, all these formalities were disregarded. Not only that, the poles used were of substandard quality without any ISI mark and were installed loosely with the help of stones, not concrete & no earthing was done. For mere personal gains, Kimber Local’s Electricity is also being cut frequently for long hours, causing great discomfort to them in this bone chilling winter. Now, the question arises, “With Whose Permission?”.
When QNSTv contacted Exen Ganderbal, Mr. Nawab Ali Khan for his comments on the matter, he said “he has already filed an FIR against the culprits, and if more information is to be sought, concerned AEE Mr. Zahoor Ahmad Bhat can enlighten better.”
However, when our correspondent spoke with the concerned AEE, Mr. Zahoor Ahmad Bhat, the said official contradicted the higher authority upon him and said that “twice, he wrote to SHO Khimber to act against the involved individuals but unfortunately no action has been taken as of now against the involved individuals by the concerned SHO.”
Pertinently, when the Concerned SHO, Mr. Ishfaq was contacted, he refused the allegation put forth by the concerned AEE Mr. Zahoor Ahmad, and said, “ though the application from AEE’s office was firstly brought before us by the concerned inspector to file an FIR against the involved landlord, ironically, he withdrew the complaint later on the same day. We were told that Kashmir Power Development Corporation no longer wishes to go for the FIR regarding the illegal displacement of electric poles at Khimber.”
Keeping the complete situation in view, now the big question that arises here is that if the employees of KPDCL, Ganderbal division, were already aware of the severity of the matter, then why did they continue to stay as a mute spectators to the fact that the exposed line poses grave danger to the safety of lives and property of the locals in the area, given that the poles have no earthing and are installed in between the crude stones and loose earth without concrete? Our sources also revealed that an amount in Lakhs were given as hush money to a few KPDCL employees to remain silent on the matter.
Since, the concerned department is keeping silence over the matter due to some person’s aspiration of Beautifying his land at the cost of people’s lives, now the justice for the people of Khimber is dependent on the actions & investigation of Higher Authorities of UT J&K.