Srinagar: Kashmir is facing the worst power outages in the spring season this time as the electricity continues to play hide and seek much to the dismay of consumers amid the Ramadhan.
Normally from March onwards, the power supply in Kashmir used to improve considerably in comparison to harsh weather months, however, this time the situation is different as in April there are more prolonged and unscheduled power cuts being reported across Kashmir.
This has infuriated the general populace who are facing prolonged power cuts mostly during Sehri and Iftaar time.
"For the past one week, I haven't seen a single day when the power supply was on during morning and evening times, it is a collective punishment which is being met despite paying our bills on time," said Ajaz Ahmad, a Srinagar resident.
The power cuts during the month of Ramadhan is contrary to the directions of Divisional Commissioner Kashmir who during a recent review meeting directed the Kashmir Power Development Corporation Limited to ensure quality power supply during this holy month when Muslims keep fast.
The problem is further compounded in non-metered and rural areas.
"In winter we had a certain power curtailment schedule which the KPDCL officials would follow and we too were aware when there is power curtailment, but this time there is a different scenario that power supply is cut as per the sweet will of the KPDCL officials," lamented Firdous Ahmad, a Pattan resident.
The situation in the old city of Srinagar is even worse where most of the areas are non-metered. As per locals power curtailment hours are more than the power supplied hours.
However, KPDCL officials have put up their hands and stated that the situation is not in their control.
"It is the National Grid where the problem lies, we get restricted supply and we have distributed it accordingly," informed a senior KPDCL official.
Chief Engineer, Kashmir Power Development Corporation Limited (KPDCL), Javid Yusuf said that it is not the problem in Kashmir alone, but across India. "It has nothing to due to Ramadhan, till 3 am our demand is 1000 MWs, which peaks to 1650 MWs at Sehri time, as a result of which we have resort to power curtailments. This year March has been the hottest in over 122 years, summer has set early, all India power demand is near 2 lakh MWs is near an all-time high record."
The National Grid is the high-voltage electricity transmission network in India, connecting power stations and major substations and ensuring that electricity generated anywhere in India can be used to satisfy demand elsewhere.
The National Grid is owned, and maintained by the state-owned Power Grid Corporation of India and operated by the state-owned Power System Operation Corporation.
Since the middle of March, the grid has routinely reported maximum loads above 195,000 MW, including a peak of 199,584 MW on April 8 - less than 0.5 percent below the record.
As Jammu and Kashmir receives the majority of the power supply from the National Grid, the peaking demand has left the UT with limited power supply as local power generation is not enough to meet the demand.