The Power Development Department (PDD) is resorting to unscheduled power cuts in Kashmir's industrial areas, leading to massive drop in production outputs, stakeholders said on Wednesday.
As per industrialists, the Kashmir-based unit holders are witnessing decline in production output by about 30 percent due to power curtailments coupled with low voltage of electricity. This is consequently resulting in huge losses to entrepreneurs and making them pay idle wages to workers, they said.
President Federation Chamber of Industry Kashmir, Muhammad Ashraf Mir told Greater Kashmir that the industry in the Valley is under distress due to regular power cuts by the Power Development Department.
"Irony is that Kashmir Industry is facing discrimination while Jammu Industrial estate is being provided with uninterrupted power supply," Mir said, adding that all the industrial estates in Kashmir are facing power cuts which has created problems for the local unit holders.
" Our industrial production is witnessing decline which is a cause of concern as it means losses to the unit holders who are already grappling with geographical disadvantage and limited marketing opportunities," he said.
The FCIK threatened to "close down all units if the government fails to provide uninterrupted power supply to industrial estates."
Greater Kashmir received complaints of power cuts from almost all the industrial estates in Kashmir such as Rangreth, Sanat Nagar, Lassipora and Zakura.
President, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mushtaq Wani said the government has failed to provide power supply to industrial estates which are being fed electricity through essential feeders and are supposed to get 24 hour electricity.
"Our production has declined by around 30 percent and if the situation remains same we fear industrial unit holders will be forced to shut their units," he said.
Explaining the impact of power cuts on industrial units, noted industrialist, Shakeel Qalander, said: "Some mechanical operations are complex. Sometimes, for example, it takes hours together to raise the temperature of a particular machine, and when it is hot enough to start operations, there is a sudden power cut rendering hours' process useless in a second. It can also damage the machine."
He said when it is power failure, hundreds of employees working in different industrial estates across the Valley have to sit idle. "At times the voltage is too low to run our machines," he said.
President, Kashmir Small Scale Industries Association, Bagh-e-Ali Mardan Khan, Syed Fazal Illahi said their Industrial estate is witnessing power cuts from 6 pm to 10 pm. "During this time, not only units remain shut, there is no light in the estate which increases chances of theft," he said.