Srinagar, Nov 18: Kashmir is heading towards severe power crisis as the Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) is mulling additional power cuts due to persistently inadequate power allocation to it.
The current power allocation of 1300 MW is a substantial decrease from the 1700 MW received during the same period last year, indicating a severe shortage that threatens to deepen Kashmir’s electricity woes.
A senior official from KPDCL has raised a red flag over dwindling power allocation, saying, “We are contemplating further extending power cuts as the current allocation is insufficient, especially considering that peak demand during winter can exceed 2000 MW.”
The senior official said that in absence of sufficient power allocation, KPDCL might have no choice but to revise the existing curtailment schedule and implement a new one with even fewer hours of power supply.
The gravity of the situation is underscored by the fact that power cuts have become so severe that monthly power consumption in Kashmir has plummeted by 30 to 40 million units compared to last year.
“The unscheduled and frequent distress cuts, resulting from a reduction in allocation, have wreaked havoc at the grid level. This has led to an unstable load curve, causing a cascading effect of higher peak loads and stress on power infrastructure, aggravating the power scenario and escalating curtailments,” a KPDCL official said.
Official sources said that the administration had scaled back power purchases since summer, aggravating the crisis alongside insufficient local power generation.
The impact of these decisions is evident in the significant deviation from the curtailment schedule devised by the KPDCL.
In urban areas, metered locations were initially scheduled for 4.5 hours of load shedding, while non-metered areas were allocated 8 hours.
Similarly, in rural areas, metered locations were slated for a maximum of 6 hours of power cuts, and non-metered areas were to endure 8 hours.
“However, due to reduced power allocation, there is no adherence to the schedule, with power cuts extending to 4 to 5 hours at a stretch.
Metered areas are experiencing over 8 hours of load shedding, and non-metered areas are facing up to 10 to 12 hours of power cuts.