With the minimum temperature plunging to freezing level in the Kashmir valley, frequent power cuts have worsened the problems of the common masses. According to the KNS the frequent power cuts, even in those areas which have metered connections and were assured round-the-clock supply in the past, are causing problems for the residents as night temperature has begun slipping to sub-zero levels. Consumers, have been protesting against diminishing electricity supply for the past some weeks. Consumers in the summer capital Srinagar Monday complained that, though their areas are metered but the prolonged cuts have mounted problems “The unscheduled power cuts of two to three hours have become a routine in our locality for the past one month and the situation turns grim during the evening hours when we expect uninterrupted supply,” said Habib-ullah of Bemina locality here. A lengthy winter is beginning to set over Kashmir region as mercury is registering a considerable drop and nights are growing colder with each passing day. The minimum temperature in Srinagar during the past two nights had dropped to a low of minus 0.5 and minus 0.9°C, marking the season’s first nights when mercury plunged to freezing level in the city. According to officials, the Power Development Department is able to deliver 1,200 MW in winter months against the demand for 1,600 MW to provide round-the-clock electricity supply. The curtailment of power supply usually takes place in winter months every year as residents use heating appliances which increases the demand for electricity. Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had earlier this week expressed concern over complaints of non-adherence of curtailment schedule and directed the officials to strengthen the transmission system to meet the requirement of power demand during peak hours. The Chief Minister had directed the Power Development Department to “strictly implement the notified schedule” of load-shedding, which is an eight-hour power cut in non-metered areas and a three-hour cut in metered areas on daily basis. Almost 51 per cent of households in Kashmir division are metered, according to officials. Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh has also appealed for cooperation of public to judiciously use electricity “so that the load-shedding schedule can be followed effectively”. Jammu and Kashmir has an estimated hydel-power potential to generate 20,000 MW out of which projects of about 16,200 MW capacity have been identified, but the state currently has an installed capacity to generate mere 969.96 MW. The state produces only 18 per cent of the power it consumes annually and has a “huge gap” in revenue receipts and the incurred expenditure.
2015 Kashmir Despatch