The state government has installed sub-standard transformers without the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification leading to frequent breakdowns and power outages.
According to officials, during a recent inspection Power Development Department (PDD) found that over 5000 transformers in Kashmir don’t bear the names of manufacturing companies and date of their production. Officials added that since the transformers are old and of sub-standard quality they frequently break down leading to power cuts.
“The distribution transformers are not able to support the load of the consumers due to which they frequently break down. Government has failed to upgrade the distribution infrastructure as per the load profile of people,” said an official.
The government had directed that PDD should only buy transformers with BIS certification. But the government continues to purchase transformers without BIS certification.
A senior PDD official said most of the local firms from which they buy the transformers are not registered for BIS certification.
A distribution transformer of 63 to 100 KV is purchased at over Rs 80000 to Rs one lakh, said an official, adding that most of the time they buy transformers at divisional level from local firms. There are 18 power divisions across Kashmir and each division has a requirement of 50 to 60 transformers.
Officials said in each electricity division, over 60 transformers are installed annually while 15 percent of the transformers get damaged in each division from the installed capacity of near 2000 transformers.
According to a senior PDD official, due to frequent transformer damages they often don’t get repaired at PDD workshops and the department pays heavy sum to fix the defects at private workshops.
Chief Engineer, PDD, Bashir Ahmad Khan, said the BIS certification has not been made mandatory as of now as they would have faced shortage of stock to replace the old transformers with new ones.
He said BIS certification will be made mandatory from next year.
“We will stop purchasing the transformers from companies which are not registered for BIS certification and the certification will be made mandatory from February 2016,’’ he said.