One such area where there is a need for up-gradation is the insulation of the HT and LT lines across Kashmir and putting them all underground. It is something that should have been taken care of earlier, but now that the concerned department is taking several steps towards ensuring that the existing infrastructure is made efficient coupled with the addition of several new components, it needs to go with shifting HT, and LT lines underground. If that is not possible at this point, it can at least ensure the proper insulation of these lines.
These steps, if taken across Kashmir, are going to have many benefits: first, it is going to be a step which will ensure the safety of not only the people who always remain at risk, but it will also go a long way in minimizing the cases of electrocution which the ground staff of the KPDCL faces, especially during winters, when these cases, as has been the trend, go up. It needs to be said here that lately, the concerned department has taken several steps to ensure the safety of its men on the ground, but still, such cases are reported often. At the same time, the move will result in bringing the power theft to almost zero because it will put an end to “hooking” which has been a menace the department has been trying hard to deal with: insulating these lines, shifting them underground could be the solution.
These days, the department is on the job of installing smart meters across Kashmir under which several areas have been covered. It has been seen that the areas which are check-marked as metered witness the LT lines getting insulated, while the HT lines remain where they are. It could have been authorities deciding to first go with the insulation of these lines, shifting them underground and then going with the metering of the areas. By doing that, they could have first ensured safety, putting an end to the power theft and then the last phase could have been metering.
Here, we will not talk about power curtailments here during winters in Kashmir despite claims of improved power scenario, but what we would like to impress here is the need for putting safety first, be it general public or the ground staff of the concerned department—and that needs to be achieved by insulating the HT, LT lines coupled with shifting the entire line of transmission underground, especially in the areas which are congested.