Srinagar: The transmission line upgradation and branch pruning along transmission lines are causing Kashmir to experience protracted power outages, which has put the local populace through hardship. Winter has arrived, and Kashmir is now plagued by power outages.
However, Kashmir Power Development Corporation Limited (KPDCL) officials said that the outages were primarily the result of work being undertaken to provide a better supply of electricity throughout the winter.
Speaking to Greater Kashmir, Chief Engineer KPDCL Distribution, Javid Ahmad said that power cuts were due to the ongoing works taking place which had been undertaken to augment transmission capacity during the peak winter season.
“Normally during October, KPDCL conducts the exercise of branch pruning to prevent their falling against the transmission lines during winter. In addition to this, two of our transmission lines are under augmentation works,” he said. “Transmission lines Wagoora-Zainakote and 132 KV Mir Bazar-Wanpora are offline as augmentation work is being done to increase their capacity. As these lines are situated in places where paddy is grown, we were unable to complete this job earlier and had to wait until the harvest was complete.”
Ahmad expressed optimism that the Wanpora transmission line would be operational by November 10.
He said that the schedule for wintertime curtailments would be released by the second week of November.
“Power demand has increased by 30 to 40 percent due to the drop in temperature. If things do not get better, we will have to consider curtailment,” Ahmad said.
He advised people to use electricity judiciously and avoid using rudimentary heating devices. As the temperature continues to drop ahead of the winter, Kashmir has been experiencing power outages due to an increase in power demand brought on by the use of electric appliances.
Meanwhile, locals are appalled by the protracted power outages and said that the KPDCL could have scheduled this work properly to spare them sufferings.
“Winter hasn't even started yet. One can imagine what will happen during the harsh cold winter months. The government claims to be increasing transmission capacity, but on the other hand, it does not even give good quality power supply,” said Muhammad Yaqoob of Srinagar. “For years, the governments have been telling us that when the weather gets colder, demand rises, which should result in higher departmental revenue. They should discipline their field personnel for failing to stop theft if income is not rising. They shouldn't penalise customers.”