Power Woes in J&K
We need to be circumspect while using electricity
ER ABDUR RASHID
Strange enough! Every one of us boasts of availability of huge water-power potential in the State yet unavailability of electricity to the consumer. What do we do about it? We altogether ignore our role and responsibility in both situations with a mindset that others have to provide us the comfort and we have a free license to consume electricity. For a redress of complaints and grievances we shall have to address our own-selves for an introspection.
Taking up the aspect of availability of Hydel power resources in the state it is perhaps known to us all that harnessing of such resources needs huge capital investments, well beyond the affordability of the State Government through its normal financial resources. The only viable mode is Public-Private Partnership or Self-help. Such investment shall not only fetch high dividends but shall be a contribution towards future generation as well. We have to shun our present trend of unproductive investments in purchase of bulk land, construction of houses, and purchases of luxuries beyond need and without utility.
Development of power sector would also attract such investors who, by conviction, avoid interest transactions; for them this would be a Sharia’h compliant investment. Once this mode of action is taken money otherwise sleeping will spring up. But this would exclusively be dependent upon electricity revenue at the ultimate end which puts a question mark on the process under the prevalent situation. We have thus to be prepared for paying the charges of electricity consumed in order to be fair in our dealings.
Coming to other aspect, we altogether ignore the ethical or legal implication of power theft. I admit that the underprivileged sections of people do have their compulsions and it is the obligation of State to provide relief to such consumers. The ground situation here, however, with due apology, is that the elite class enjoys the major share of pilferage.
Still worse is the use of electricity when and where we don’t need it. A heating or cooling electrical gadget is on even when the room is vacant or the ambient temperature is comfortable. Cooking which needs variable heat energy is mostly done on crude heaters which is quite non-conservative. Yet another disadvantage is that there is a considerable leakage through earth path which gives rise to power dissipation/ energy wastage besides being a risk factor. Even if inevitable, a glass wool blanket could be used around the tank before embedding it in masonry work as a measure to conserve heat and thus increase its efficiency .Though, an electrical geyser is not only cost competitive to purchase and affordable nowadays but is quite cheaper from operational viewpoint.
Of late now air-conditioning plants have become another status symbol irrespective of whether required or not ignoring and/or neglecting its adverse impact on environment due to the use of Chloroflorocarbons, save the heavy burden on the electric network. We should have been selective even for refrigerators which also contribute to Green House Gases.
Last but not least is the use of electricity for lighting purposes where again we indulge in sheer negligence. The lamps are on even in broad daylight. We use incandescent (conventional) lamps which have a poor performance at low voltage. The result is that even with several 100 Watt lamps an average size room is not adequately illuminated whereas one 40W lamp, incidentally out of market, or at the most a 60 W one operated at normal voltage shall provide adequate light level for even working purposes. One may ask as to how to get an input voltage of 200Volts or so. I would say that lighting load could well be taken on the small size stabilizer invariably used for TV in most households with a diversity in case of incandescent lamps whereas full lighting load can be taken in case of FL (Tube lights) or CFL (Energy Savers). Please mind that I do advocate for a Regulated Power Supply for just lighting purposes for optimum efficiency but strictly restricted to a maximum capacity of 0.5 KVA (~ KW) with a good efficiency because otherwise the saving in light watts shall be overset by the losses in the stabilizer. Critics may complain about the poor voltage in the system and argue that JKPDD has an obligation to provide normal supply voltage. OK, but we have to understand that poor voltage is attributable to our gross indiscipline where JKPDD can’t do much. I, however, hold by conviction that using a voltage regulator for heating devices is quite immoral being detrimental to the system and deprives the neighbours of their due share of power.
There is another class of consumers who just with the use of Fluorescent Lamps feel complacent about their power conservatism ignoring that primary mode of consumption in domestic load is cooking, heating and/or air-conditioning where we don’t exercise any restraint. I would like to cite one instance of improving the design of a 20W (commonly known as 2 ft) Tube light to 18W to indicate as to how the researchers attempt to conserve even a fraction of a watt whereas we are extravagant in thousands of watts!
(Author is an Ex Chief Engineer of J&K PDD and can be reached at email@example.com)
Lastupdate on : Wed, 4 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 4 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 5 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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