Grid Collapse Drags Valley Under

Grid Collapse Drags Valley Under

31 July 2012
Kashmir Observer


Srinagar: With the Northern Grid collapsing for the second time in the past 48 hours, power supply schedules went haywire in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday also, leading to domestic, industrial and services chaos. Struggling with the crisis, authorities almost threw up their hands in surrender, asserting that nothing could be said about resuming regular supply soon. The crash came just days after the state government reduced the over 12-hour power curtailment in Kashmir in view of the holy month of Ramzan. Assailed with near-total blackouts in almost 19 states in the northern, north-eastern, and eastern regions, the union power minister attributed the unprecedented power failure to over-drawing. In Kashmir, the breakdown hit emergency services like hospitals and water works also. Hotels, house-boats and guesthouses overflowing amid a boom in tourist arrivals turned into crowded centres of restlessness and discomfort, with no water and power. Doctors reported a growing number of patients, particularly children, complaining of weakness and faintness. Apart from Srinagar, reports of sharp drops in power supply came from Budgam, Gandarbal, and the northern and the southern districts. Large portions of the city were said to be reeling under a severe water shortage, and mosques announced for worshippers to perform ablutions at home. The chief minister summoned another emergency meeting at the civil secretariat this morning, instructing authorities to undertake relief efforts in water-scarcity hit areas. The chief minister also rang up the union power minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde, for updates on restoration measures in the Northern Grid. “We cannot specify a time for resuming regular supply,” the chief engineer for the Power Development Department in Kashmir, Muzaffar Ahmad Matoo said. “It all depends on when the fault in the Northern Grid is rectified,” he said. “At present we have only 150 mw available (from the Uri Project), and we are trying to maintain emergency services, besides supplying what we can to consumers,” he said.