Srinagar, Nov 9: The Power Development Department has resorted to massive power cuts in the valley creating crises like situation.
Sources said the department has started curtailment of two nights in a week in non-metered areas and one hour curtailment in morning and evening in the metered areas. However, the department is not following its own schedule. Apart from the schedule the department resorts to frequent cuts in both the metered and non-metered areas.
In rural areas and towns the situation is worse with people complaining of seven to 10 hour cut every day.
The officials in the department blame the decrease in generation in various power houses. The generation in Lower Jehlum, having capacity of 105 MW, has decreased to 22 MWs. The Baglihar power project is giving only 120 MWs to the State. The Upper Sindh II is closed for want of repairs for past two months. The total generation of upper Sindh project is 105 MWs and in the winter season it provides at least 35 MWs to the State.
The Managing Director, State Power Development Corporation, Bipul Pathak said the project had to be closed after breach in its canal. He said the work on the project was on and it would take another one month to restart the Upper Sindh II.
The total requirement in the valley presently is 800 MW and Power Development Department purchases power of Rs 8.50 crores per day from the Northern Grid.
The Chief Engineer, Power Development Department, M&RE, said there has been increase in the demand for past few weeks which has led to the present crises.
On November 1, 2008, the consumption in the valley was 122 lakh units and on the same day this year 167.70 lakh units. Last year on November 8 the demand was 142.96 lakh units and yesterday the demand was 173.63 lakh units. There has been increase of 30.67 lakh units this year.
"The consumers in the valley should cooperate with the department. There is increase in consumption by 21 per cent and we request the consumers to switch off some bulbs, boilers and geysers during the peak hour. This could only allow us to meet their demands," he said.
Interestingly the domestic consumers of Kashmir pay more to Power Development Department and the Srinagar city pays more than the domestic consumers of the rest of the State.
The average consumer is Kashmir valley pays Rs 93.80 per month. The average consumer in uptown Srinagar pays Rs 294 while as in downtown they pay Rs 156. The officials of the department said in present situation they have no alternative other than additional curtailment.
There are 16000 transformers installed in the valley and 128 of them have developed technical snags due to overload in the past one week.