Srinagar, Nov 17: In a worsening power crisis, Kashmir finds itself grappling with a severe shortage, leaving habitats in darkness and rural areas particularly hard-hit by unscheduled load shedding.
A senior official from the Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) revealed that on Friday, forced curtailment reached a staggering 1000 MW, indicating a substantial gap between power demand and supply.
The official who wished not to be named said, “It doesn’t need rocket science to understand that the power curtailment schedule announced by KPDCL is hardly followed. The widening gap between power requirement and availability leaves no room for adherence to schedules. The only viable solution is to purchase more power to meet the burgeoning demand.”
No segment of the region has been spared from the power crisis, with rural areas experiencing the harshest impacts.
Greater Kashmir sought to understand the situation in rural districts by interviewing residents of north and south Kashmir, revealing a dire situation.
Tariq Ahmad, a district in north Kashmir’s Kupwara said, “For the last 10 days, power supply has been reduced to only a few hours a day in the entire district. With such limited electricity supply at the onset of winter, the situation is dire. Even patients relying on oxygen concentrators suffer due to the irregular power supply. It seems the people of Kupwara have been forgotten by the authorities, despite promises of substantial electricity after the augmentation of receiving stations.”
Bandipora in north Kashmir is also reeling from a severe electricity crisis this year, with locals reporting frequent and prolonged power cuts during both day and night, even in metered areas.
Shafeeqa Begum of Plan Bandipora, expressed frustration, saying, “Despite being a metered area, there are frequent and irregular cuts. Electricity is often unavailable at night, and the situation worsens in hilly and remote areas.”
Hakeem Ahmad, a business owner highlighted the economic impact of the power crisis, saying, “We can’t trust electricity. It’s erratic and gone for long hours at times. This is frustrating for businesses and individuals alike.”
Muhammad Maqbool of Shopian lamented the power cuts stating that it is frustrating that now even inverter batteries have also given up.
As the power crisis escalates, residents are left grappling with the consequences, raising concerns about the immediate need for effective measures to bridge the widening gap between power demand and supply in Kashmir.