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Transformer repair firms in Kashmir seek pending payment

Jammu and Kashmir: The Kashmir Transformers Repair Association has been refusing to turn up for work following a row over non-payment of dues worth $4 M (₹30 crore).

Two years on, the Jammu and Kashmir administration failed to clear their liabilities, forcing the private firms not to take up any further repairing assignments from the Power Development Department (PDD).

The workers have gone on an indefinite strike after the administration failed to clear their dues. However, officials of the department have cited the shortage of funds for non-payment.

The association is functioning under Small Scale Industrial Units, a private body working in collaboration with the Jammu and Kashmir Industries and Commerce Department. Jalal Ud Din Wani, president of the association, said that the power department has not paid their dues for the last two years. “I have asked my workers to boycott work completely till the government addresses our grievances,” he said, adding that they have taken up the matter with the PDD officials but to no avail.

Wani said that more than 10,000 people associated with these firms have lost their livelihood.

Abdul Aziz Rather, a unit-holder, said that he receives over 10 transformers per day for repair from the power department. “We won’t repair even a single electricity transformer now as the administration has not paid us the dues,” he said.

With nearly 200 damaged transformers lying with these unitholders in different parts of the Valley, people may face dark nights ahead.

With the deadlock between the association and the power department, the transformer damage rate in Kashmir has gone up 60 % due to overloading.

Kashmir PDD chief engineer Aijaz Ahmad Dar said: “The government is looking into the matter and the issue will be resolved within a month.”

Source: Hindustan Times