Power Crisis Hits Kashmir

Power Crisis Hits Kashmir

3 November 2013
Greater Kashmir
Shabir Ibn Yusuf

Srinagar: With the advent of winter, pestering power crisis has hit Kashmir as most parts of the Valley reel under severe electricity shortage with no indication of improvement in the near future. Officials said the power distribution system in Kashmir is under tremendous stress due to overload. While common consumers including the students are bearing the brunt of the unscheduled power cuts, the crisis has hit the traders the most, especially those associated with tourism. Pertinently, students of most of the classes in Kashmir are appearing in annual examinations nowadays. The consumers from metered areas allege that Power Development Department (PDD) is taking them for a ride. They allege that meters were installed by PDD with the promise that the consumers in metered areas will get round the clock electricity, but the unscheduled power cuts are adding to their miseries. The consumers allege that the situation has gone from bad to worse during the past few weeks. They added that power cuts are more frequent and extended during the evening hours. Traders from Karan Nagar area of the city complained of pesky power cuts which according to them is affecting their business. “We are paying commercial tariff but unfortunately PDD is resorting to unscheduled power cuts. If the problem persists we will be forced to take the extreme step of stopping payment of power dues.” The situation in old Srinagar is worse with local residents having to reel in darkness for hours. “There is total chaos. We are not being provided power as per schedule,” said Manzoor Ahmad, a resident of Nawab Bazaar. The situation in the rural areas, according to reports is far worse and most of the villages and townships don’t get electricity for days together. According to reports pouring in from several areas of north, south and central Kashmir, irked by frequent and extended power cuts, people have hit the roads staging demos against the government. The residents of several areas of Bandipora including, Arin, Aloosa, Ashtangoo, Garora, Aragam, Aythulla, Lankrishipora and other adjoining villages are up in arms against PDD. They accused PDD of resorting to unscheduled power cuts from last more than two weeks. Reports reaching from Kupwara said that for the past three weeks, power woes have worsened in the district leaving consumers high and dry. The consumers of metered areas in Kupwara and Handwara towns said that the power was playing hide and seek with them. They said that even the metered areas are not spared of frequent power outages. Reports said that villages including Ticker, Sogam, Darpora, Kalaroos, Kralpora, Trehgam and Andurgbugh in Lolab are the worst hit. Reports of power shortage were also received from several areas of Baramulla district. These include Rafiabad, Ladoora, Delina, Sangrama and several other areas. Similar reports were received from several areas of Ganderbal and Budgam districts of central Kashmir. Reports of sever power crisis were received from south Kashmir’s Pulwama, Kulgam, Anantnag and Shopian districts. They said that power is playing hide and seek in almost all villages of south Kashmir. Chief Engineer, PDD, Bashir Ahmad Khan admitted that power crisis has started hitting Kashmir. He said the system is heavily overloaded load. “11,000 MW are being consumed in Kashmir,” he said adding that this is the highest consumption. Khan added that improvement depends on the power usage by consumers. “The department will start inspection but at the same time people must not misuse power,” he said adding that PDD will make every effort for betterment of power supply.