Amir Karim Tantray
Tribune News Service
Jammu, February 11
Several inches of snowfall in the twin districts of Doda and Kishtwar have exposed the faults in the 132-KV transmission line of the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).
Nine towers of the line have been severely damaged between Batote and Kishtwar and electricity hasn’t been restored in these districts so far. At many places, the connectors have also been damaged.
Of the nine damaged towers, one tower has been damaged between Batote and Doda and the others have been damaged between Doda and Kishtwar. For the last three days, the NHPC’s men and machinery are on the job to restore the line but to no avail.
“I have deputed three teams to restore the line. I am hopeful that power will be restored for Doda by Tuesday evening. But for Kishtwar, it will take another 15 days,” Gopi Chand Sinha, Deputy General Manager (Transmission), NHPC, told The Tribune.
The 132-KV transmission line carries electricity from the northern grid towards Doda and Kishtwar districts and even a small fault on this line brings darkness in both districts.
Sources told The Tribune that the NHPC had not upgraded these towers as per requirement and they get damaged whenever heavy rain or snow lashes the area. “There is an immediate need to upgrade towers as per the requirement and carry out maintenance work during summer so that power is not snapped during winter,” a source said.
On the contrary, the power being generated in the NHPC-run 390-mega watt Dul Hasti hydroelectric power project in Kishtwar district is being transmitted to the northern grid uninterrupted.
Two lines of 400-KV and 220-KV capacity, belonging to the Power Grid Corporation of India, didn’t get damage in the snowfall.
“Our line developed a small technical snag during snowfall which was rectified within time and power was restored,” said Vinul Koul, spokesperson of the corporation.
There is a sense among people that every now and then, the incoming line develops faults but the outgoing line never develops any snag because the government earns more from the latter.