Brace up as Govt mulls more power curtailment

With the onset of winter in Kashmir, the Power department has mooted a proposal to finalize power curtailment schedule as the electricity demand peaks.

According to officials of Kashmir Power Development Corporation Limited (KPDCL) the demand for electricity has increased by 150 MW in the last few days mainly due to use of heating gadgets.

“We are in the process of finalizing a curtailment schedule. We have foreseen that demand for electricity will increase in coming days, as a result of which there is no option left other than to resort to load shedding,” said a senior official.

Speaking to the Greater Kashmir, Chief Engineer KPDCL, Ajaz Ahmad said, “If the people would use electricity judiciously we don’t need any curtailment schedule. But the problem is that from the last few days we have witnessed an increase in demand, from 1150 MW to 1350 MW. On Wednesday morning there has been an increase in demand which forces us to go for curtailment schedules,” he said.

“As of now we have not finalized any curtailment schedule, we are monitoring the situation and will devise measures accordingly,” he added.

While the corporation is yet to finalize curtailment schedule there is resentment among people that the KPDCL is resorting to unscheduled power cuts which has left people high and dry.

Last winter, KPDCL resorted to 8 hour long power shutdown in non-metered areas and 5 hour power cuts in metered areas.

However this winter the health experts are pitching for uninterrupted power supply in view of COVID19, as they state that several COVID patients are on oxygen concentrators which run on electricity.

President DAK, Dr Suhail Naik said a large number of COVID patients are receiving oxygen therapy at home under strict observation and guidance of health care workers.

“The continuous supply of oxygen demands uninterrupted supply of electricity and is life saving for such patients. Therefore we request the KPDCL to provide uninterrupted electricity during coming winters so that lives can be saved,” he said.

He said a large number of patients suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) develop frequent exacerbations during winters and often need oxygen therapy.

Lt. Governor, while reviewing the winter preparedness of the Power Department last week had directed the Power Department for establishment of a task force to ensure power supply and gave strict directions for the availability of surplus transformers to cater to the need during the winter season.