With the onset of winter in Kashmir, Power Development Department has aggravated problems of valley ties by resorting to more curtailment in electricity schedule. Not only non-metered areas, but residents in metered localities are also bearing the brunt and spending most of their time without power supply. The Power Development Department pleads helplessness, saying consumers utilize electricity in excess of the agreement. In main localities of Srinagar including Rajbagh, and Sonawar, people are facing two and four hour curtailment in intervals throughout the day. In Bemina and its adjourning areas, residents said the area witnesses five-hour long power curtailment daily. “Although our area is metered, PDD curtails our electricity for hours. In past five days, our area faced several unscheduled power cuts. If power is not provided to us as per the schedule we will protest on the streets,” Shabir Ahmad of Bemina told KNS. Another consumer, Habibulah of M.I.G Colony said that it is shocking that instead of ensuring regular power supply during the peak hours, the department is resorting to cuts. “We are witnessing frequent power cuts despite our locality being fully metered,” he told KNS In north Kashmir’s Sopore area, residents complained that PDD has resorted to long and unscheduled power cuts. “We face unscheduled power cuts which is hitting our daily life. Students are worst hit as they are mostly dependent on electricity for using their power-backed gadgets like computers, Tabs, and surfing internet,” said Mohammad Younis of Bomai in Sopore. Although consumers expect enhanced supply of electricity in winter month, yet the PDD is not coming up to their expectations and demands. “Power supply in winter should be uninterrupted in Kashmir, particularly in freezing winter season. But we see the other face of PDD. Heating gadgets and other tools for cooking and boiling water are useless,” said Iqbal Ahmad Shopian district. He complained that his area id facing sever power shortage from the last week. Chief Engineer PDD, Bashir Ahmad Khan told KNS that the consumers have to face power cuts due to increased load in winter. “Our registered capacity is 1000 Megawatts, but we supply 1200 MW during normal seasons. In winter, due to cold and harsh weather, consumers use more electricity which creates power deficit,” Khan told KNS. “People consume electricity in excess of the supply and requirement. So, naturally PDD has to use power cuts to augment the need,” he said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch