Winters, and power outages

The concerned department needs to rationalise power outage schedule and then stick to it
Winters, and power outages
A woman holds candle as she cooks rice on gas stove in the absence of electricity in Srinagar amid curtailments during winters.File: Mubashir Khan/ GK

Power supply is the most crucial service in the upcoming months at a place like Kashmir. As the winters set in, there is automatically more demand for power. For all these months of cold, people need power to warm up their rooms, and to heat up water.

The number of heating appliances that are now in use in an average household demands more power supply than before. Now almost everything in our homes runs on electricity, and hence an enhanced load on the power supply systems. On the other side this is the time when power generation is affected adversely because of low water levels.

So the plain mathematics of the problem tells us that it is a double layered predicament. On the one hand we need more electricity than in an average summer day, and on the other side we have less generation capacity compared to summers. To make the two ends fall in place somehow, the only alternative is load shedding; in simpler terms the schedule for power outages is here, and we now have to chisel our routine work accordingly.

Unless the generation of power matches the need, no other solution can be worked out. If we go by the inputs from concerned officials, the attempts to improve the supply, and enhance power generation, have been on. As per the reports, last year, Alasteng and Bandipora Grids were commissioned, and the supply increased. This year also the J&K government is likely to commission two more grid stations in Kashmir to augment power supply capacity; it will go from current 1650 to 1850 megawatts in next two months, reportedly.

These regular upgradations, and incremental increase in power generation is good in its place, but unless there is a massive input to our power generation, the problems are going to stay. In the winters, the peak demand of power in Kashmir has gone up to 1450 MW which as per the officials was 1200 MW just few weeks back. This can give us a peek into how much we require to maintain a balance between supply and demand. Meanwhile the concerned department needs to rationalise the power outage schedule and then stick to it. That is the least that can be done.

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