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PDD Installs Smart Meters on Trees in South Kashmir

The Power Development Department’s unconventional decision to install smart meters on trees in Pulwama’s Koil village has sparked public criticism and safety concerns. Residents of the area have voiced dismay over the lack of proper power infrastructure, such as electric poles, despite the department’s allocation of funds for installing smart meters.

Local resident Mudasir Ahmad highlighted the potential risks posed by installing smart meters on trees, wooden logs, and high-tension poles. He expressed fears of fire outbreaks and other untoward incidents due to this makeshift arrangement. Despite the allocation of funds for poles four years ago, only two have been installed, leaving crucial infrastructure projects incomplete.

Repeated appeals to the authorities by locals have fallen on deaf ears, exacerbating frustrations over the delayed installation of sanctioned poles and wires in the area. Residents are urging concerned authorities to conduct a thorough inquiry into the delayed infrastructure upgrades and hold accountable those responsible for the lapse.

Following public outcry and the circulation of images and videos depicting smart meters attached to trees on social media, authorities have issued an advisory against such installations. The Managing Director of KPDCL has directed the REC PDCL (PIA) to ensure that smart meters adhere to standard operating procedures and are installed only on KPDCL poles.

The advisory explicitly prohibits the installation of smart meters on wooden poles or trees under current and upcoming schemes, emphasizing the need for adherence to safety protocols. It further mandates close coordination with executive engineers and sub-divisional officers of KPDCL during the installation process to ensure compliance.

Authorities have affirmed their commitment to implementing the directive without compromise, signaling a corrective measure to address the safety concerns raised by residents. The move underscores the importance of prioritizing safety and proper infrastructure development to meet the needs of communities effectively.

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