Power Woes: Kashmir to suffer 6-16 hour curtailment in worsening cold
Srinagar, Nov 20: Adding to the woes of the consumers in Kashmir, the Power Development Department (PDD) on Tuesday issued a schedule for electricity curtailment ranging from six to 16 hours daily.
As per the schedule, there will be six-hour curtailment in metered areas of Srinagar and Budgam districts.
The areas have been divided into three groups, A1, A2, and A3.
These areas will face two hour power cuts in the morning between 6 am-12 pm, two hours power curtailment between 12 pm to 6 pm, and another two-hour cut between 6 pm to 12 pm.
However, the non-metered areas will face nine-hour power cuts, three hour each between 6-12, 12 to 6, and 6-12.
Pulwama and Shopian will be worst affected where the PDD said it will provide only 6-8 hour power supply in a day.
The PDD said supply hours will improve substantially after permanent restoration of 132 KV towers.
The average power curtailment in south Kashmir’s two other districts—Kulgam, Anantnag—will be 6 hours in metered areas and 10 hour in non-metered areas.
The metered areas of north Kashmir’s Baramulla and Kupwara districts would face 9-hour power cuts and increase to 12 hours in non-metered areas.
Another district, Bandipora would face 10 hour power cuts in metered areas and 14-hour in non-metered areas.
The metered areas of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district will face 6-hour power cuts and 12-hour in non-metered areas.
The PDD has come under severe criticism for resorting to unscheduled power cuts, causing inconveniences to people in the Valley.
The PDD says that every year as winter approaches, the department faces the challenge of supplying increased load.
Chief Engineer PDD Kashmir, Hashmat Qazi, said peak restricted demand, which used to be around 1,800 MW in the month of November during previous years, has abruptly increased to around 2,200 MW due to unrestricted use of heating gadget by the consumers.
“To tackle the unprecedented increased load, the department has to enforce the curtailment schedule,” he added.
However, the Chief Engineer said if people use electricity judiciously, there would be improvement in the power supply.
On October 15, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam had directed the PDD to ensure that there was no power problem in Kashmir during the winters.
He had said there were clear instructions from the Governor that the consumers should not be put to any inconvenience because of unscheduled power cuts during the winters.