Power cuts continue despite increase in supply by 17%

Areas falling in civil lines have repeatedly complained about frequent, unscheduled and long term power cuts
Power cuts continue despite increase in supply by 17%
A woman holds candle as she cooks rice on gas stove in the absence of electricity in Srinagar amid heavy curtailments during winters.File: Mubashir Khan/ GK

Srinagar: Amid increasing energy supply by over 17 per cent in comparison to last year, Kashmir Power Development Corporation Limited (KPDCL) is still failing to provide uninterrupted power in Kashmir division. The officials say the reason for the power shortage is power pilferage.

As per the official figures accessed by Greater Kashmir, a weekly analysis of energy consumption during the third week of November in Kashmir has revealed that in comparison to the same period in the corresponding year, KPDCL has supplied additional 251 lakh units.

“As compared to last year, a peak load of 1682 MWs was served against last year’s peak of 1443 MWs implying an increase of 17 per cent”

According to KPDCL officials, the main reason for the power shortage is power pilferage which the authorities have failed to stop.

“You would be astonished to know that we are supplying 1682 MW of electricity, but the corporation has an agreement with consumers for only 830 MW which means we are supplying double then our agreed load, which also means that energy we supply above our agreed load is a loss for the corporation. Annually power department losses Rs 3000 crore due to AT&C losses,” said a senior KPDCL official.

“In summer we don’t face any power shortage. But come winter there is over use of heating gadgets. Kashmir’s per capita power consumption average is higher than the rest of the country. Kashmir's per capita consumption is higher than national per capita electricity consumption” the KPDCL official said.

Chief Engineer, KPDCL, Aijaz Ahmad Dar said “ we have warned consumers to desist from illegal use of power. Our teams are conducting regular inspections to curb power pilferage and also they are imposing penalties on defaulters”

“It is our collective responsibility to stop power theft as it leads to load shedding. We are supplying over 1600 MW power, which is 17 per cent higher than the last year we supplied during November. But still demand has gone above 2600 MW.”

Meanwhile the consumers are complaining of power outages stating that the corporation is not able to supply power as per the curtailment schedule.

President, Chamber of Commerce and Industries Kashmir (CCIK), Tariq Rashid Ghani said that “with the onset of winter power woes have to haunt people in Kashmir”. “Our businesses are suffering losses due to power outages while students suffer. Government should take proactive measures to ensure quality power supply to people in the Kashmir division which faces harsh winter."

Ghani said that the Lieutenant Governor administration must initiate measures to improve power supply in the Kashmir division.

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