Srinagar: Musaib Nisar, a young manufacturer who runs Himalayan Peaks wood Industries at Lassipora Industrial Growth Centre in Pulwama district complains of incurring losses due to unscheduled power cuts.
He said due to power cuts these days most of his time gets wasted in explaining to his customers about the delay in supplying orders. “Frequent power cuts have not only hindered our work but also inflicted losses.”
Industrial unit holders working in various industrial estates in Kashmir say that their work has been affected badly despite paying hefty bills, they have to face power cuts.
“At times I feel embarrassed to pick up calls of customers because I’m running late in delivering orders. In such cold conditions, my workers won’t agree to work overnight and the power cuts are mostly in the day which has become a headache.”
“I recently finished an order worth Rs 15 lakh, as I was late to deliver the order I had to explain to my customer and at times I can’t muster the courage to ask for money. Another customer who I had to deliver the order for a modular kitchen denied paying me on time citing delay in orders. Customers don’t understand this, they pay to get orders delivered on time,” Musaib said.
Unit holders say that they have to pay workers even if they are sitting following power cuts. “If we invest in a generator, it costs around Rs 3 lakh and we are already facing losses which make it impossible to invest. Industrial unit holders should not be forced to invest in generators as we pay thousands of rupees as electricity fee,” they said.
Young entrepreneurs also complain that the power outages are causing a plethora of problems for them. They said that despite these units providing job opportunities to hundreds and authorities should make sure that electricity is uninterrupted.
Another unit holder, Momin Wani, who runs Wani Industries, a wire nail making unit at Rangreth Industrial Estate says that for such industries even a half an hour power cut inflicts losses and delays order. He says that if power cuts increase in the coming days, it will affect the units badly.
“Although power cuts here in Rangreth are not that prolonged, we are affected even with a half an hour power cut. Only today we had an order to deliver by noon. We witnessed a short power cut and the order got pushed till evening. I have over 17 workers working in the unit and a small power cut means I have to pay them for sitting idle.”
“In addition to that, there are huge fees that we pay. I pay over Rs 1 lakh monthly electricity fee for running two machines only. Then there is a separate fee for heating. In such conditions, even a small power cut means losses,” Wani said.
At the onset of Winter, Kashmir usually goes through power cuts. Despite the abundance of Hydroelectricity, these power curtailments are increasing in Kashmir.
As per the winter power curtailment schedule in Kashmir, non-metered areas are facing a power cut of 3 hours in a day and metered areas face power curtailment of 1.5 hours in a day in Srinagar. The officials at PDD said that more power cuts are in offing in the Kashmir division as the power corporation is likely to increase power curtailment hours due to increasing electricity load.
The officials also said that unrestricted demand has increased to 2600 MWs while the power corporation has the capacity to supply only 1600 MWs of electricity.
The industrial unit holders said that these units are becoming one of the major sources of employment and the government should ensure all facilities. They said as Kashmir is reeling under the highest unemployment rate, the government should strengthen such industries by providing an uninterrupted power supply.