Kashmir Faces Unprecedented Power Crisis

 Srinagar, Nov 19(KNS): Kashmir faces an unprecedented power crisis as winter approaches, with frequent outages affecting residents for hours, even days.

The Power Development Department and KPDCL introduce a power curtailment schedule to address the growing disparity, outlining 4.5-hour daily cuts in metered areas and 8-hour cuts in non-metered areas.

Residents express concern, blaming officials for disrupting their lives. Businesses report significant declines in production and productivity due to power shortages.

They are holding the authorities responsible for their failure to provide regular electricity, which is significantly disrupting their everyday lives.

Bashir Ah, a resident, says, 'Frequent power cuts are crippling our businesses. It’s a nightmare.'"

"M Ashraf highlights the severity, stating, 'If the electricity situation is this bad in Srinagar, one can only imagine the state of electricity supply in rural Kashmir.'"

"Locals report power cuts exceeding scheduled durations, with metered areas experiencing close to 8-hour cuts, exacerbating the crisis in non-metered areas."

The ongoing power shortages in the area have resulted in substantial financial setbacks, prompting business chambers and industry associations to call upon the government to tackle this matter and stimulate economic growth.

The crisis is attributed to a peak demand of 1900 MW against an available supply of around 1300 MW, resulting in a substantial 600 MW shortfall.

Despite being a significant electricity producer, generating over 2500 megawatts, the Kashmir Valley, which requires around 2400 megawatts for uninterrupted 24-hour power supply, faced daily 8-hour power cuts throughout the previous November. Government data indicates that Jammu and Kashmir collectively generate more than 3500 megawatts of electricity from its 24 hydropower projects. The total electricity demand for the entire Jammu and Kashmir region over 24 hours hovers around the same 3500 megawatts.

The valley experiences extreme winter weather, characterized by heavy snowfall and severe cold. These conditions often disrupt the power supply as snow accumulates on power lines, transformers, and other electrical infrastructure, causing breakdowns and outages Winter temperatures in Kashmir drop significantly, frequently dipping below freezing. In December and January, temperatures typically range from -2°C to 7°C, with some areas experiencing even more frigid conditions, including sub-zero temperatures.

The harshest part of the Kashmir winter, known as “Chillai Kalan,” lasts 40 days and begins on December 21st. During this period, temperatures reach their lowest points, and heavy snowfall is most prevalent. (KNS).

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