Unscheduled power cuts back as winter approaches

Ahead of winter the Kashmir Power Development Corporation Limited (KPDCL) has resorted to unscheduled power cuts in both metered as well as non-metered areas, the officials however are putting onus on consumers for misusing electricity.

The power crisis in Kashmir has become a natural phenomena owing to the fact that the power department has failed to enhance its transmission capacities to meet the demand for electricity in winter months when the temperature plummets below zero.

From north to south Kashmir, consumers are complaining about frequent power cuts mostly during the peak hours.

Reports of power outages are being heard from across the Kashmir division. People from north Kashmir’s Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora districts claimed that the power cuts have intensified for the last two weeks due to which they have to spend maximum hours in darkness.

The problem is severe in villages, where the consumers face prolonged curtailments without any announcement of the schedule. Power cuts have become a cause of concern for students whose examinations are approaching and their studies get hampered due to frequent non-availability of power supply.

“It is very difficult, on one hand the government is imposing exams on us and on the other side they are not even able to supply uninterrupted power supply so that we can study,” an aggrieved student said.

Local inhabitants are up in arms against the KPDCL for resorting to power cuts. “Despite our area being metered, why are we facing power cuts. Officials say that the demand has increased, but with it also their revenue increases as people are charged as per the power consumption units. It is illogical to say that in winter demand increases that is why they resort to power cuts,” said Ajaz Ahmad, a Srinagar resident.

Power curtailments are being witnessed in industrial estates too which according to unit holders has become a source of losses for them.

A group of industrialists from the Industrial Growth Centre Lassipora said that due to frequent power cuts, they are losing productive working time thereby causing losses.

“There are several Cold Atmosphere stores housed in the estate which face problems due to power cuts. Besides many unit holders have sophisticated machines which require a certain amount of time to heat before being operated, if there is power cut the unit holder has to repeat the preheating process during that period workers stay idle leading to losses,” they explained

Chief Engineer, KPDCL Ajaz Ahmad Dar said that the power demand has increased since last month.

A senior official of KDPCL while explaining the reason for power curtailment said electricity demand has increased to 1350 Megawatts during peak hours. “Earlier we were supplying 1150 Megawatts, power curtailment is being implemented in north and south Kashmir. The supply of electricity in Srinagar district is normal so far. KPDCL would have no option other than to implement a power curtailment schedule if the demand increases by another 250 Megawatts,” he said.