Srinagar: Even as the Kashmir Power Development Corporation Limited has announced a revised prolonged power curtailment schedule, pesky and unscheduled power cuts continue to haunt consumers as well as the business community of the region.
As per the KPDCL's power curtailment schedule metered areas face load shedding of 4.5 to 6 hours in day, non-metered areas see power cuts ranging from 6 to 7.5 hours.
Contrary to these prolonged power cuts, consumers in Kashmir are suffering due to unscheduled power cuts which are resorted by KPDCL after enforcing its scheduled power curtailments.
"There is no adherence to power curtailment schedule, after facing a scheduled power cut of 1.5 hours electricity supply gets disrupted within a few minutes," said Ajaz Ahmad, a Soura resident.
Business observers estimate that Kashmir region’s economic output and productivity must be witnessing a drop between 35 to 40 per cent if the cumulative effect of the scheduled and unscheduled power cuts is taken into account across manufacturing, services and agriculture sectors.
President, Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK), Shahid Kamili said “ Unscheduled power cuts have an adverse impact on productivity, during winter months our production sees a decline due to pesky power cuts. It is a loss for unit holders which they face for none of their faults."
"At many places Power Corporation has given electricity connections to Industrial Estates from domestic areas which mean that unit holders also come under ambit of power curtailment schedule. In this situation how can a unit holder in Kashmir prosper and do his /her business normally when factors like power cuts are not in their hands.”
Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Hoteliers Club, Mushtaq Chaya said "government claims to ensure uninterrupted power supply to tourism destinations, the situation is quite different on ground. Pahalgam faces prolonged power cuts though the power scenario in Gulmarg is still better than other areas, but there is a need to provide uninterrupted power supply."
" Load shedding in Kashmir is causing a huge economic impact on local businesses. Government should ensure uninterrupted power supply in the winter months when electricity is most needed in Kashmir due to chilly weather," said chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Hotels and Restaurants Association, Showkat Chowdhary.
A senior KPDCL official while giving figures said that on December 10, energy supplied was 364.41 Lac Units, an increase of 13.09 percent over last year (322.23 Lac units) Peak load supplied : 1636 MWs at 9 pm.
“We have increased inspection and heavy penalties are imposed on consumers who are found to be resorting to power pilferage. Our inspection squads are conducting night inspections as well, thousands of consumers were penalized,” he said.
Chief Engineer KPDCL, Aijaz Ahmad Dar said “ We are supply more electricity in comparison to last year, people need to cooperate and use power judiciously,”