Power curtailment

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Come winter, Kashmir is face to face with plethora of problems the worst one being the supply of electric power. Kashmir has a long history of administrative failures during winters particularly on the front of electricity distribution system and the essential amenities delivery mechanism. People have horrific memories of last year’s early snowfall when most parts of the Valley were forced to grope in darkness for weeks together as the power distribution system collapsed all together. In spite of the fact that the administration was having the weather forecasts, the snowfall in first week of the November made peoples’ lives hell. Road clearance was lousy, power supply and water supply were pathetic.

During winters, the power supply becomes the first casualty. The administrations, that be, have miserably failed to improve the network of transmission lines. A little bit of snow and electric poles break down.  During November 2019 snowfall, nearly 5000 electric poles broke down in the Valley thus disrupting the electric supply and forcing people to grope in darkness amid freezing mercury. Power shortage results in the termination of water supply to various regions as the PHE department needs electricity to run its filtration plants. The government’s failure to clear snow from the roads impacts the movement of essential thus resulting into hoarding and sky-rocketing of prices. That is what people suffered in 2019 November.

This time round, Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation has come up with ‘the lowest curtailment schedule in a decade”. As per reports, the metered areas would have curtailment of only two to three-hour while as in non-metered areas it would be three to four-hour cut. It may be mentioned here that last year the metered areas of Kashmir were subject to seven to eight hour curtailment while as it was nine to ten hour power cut in non-metered areas. Now that the administration is coming up with this good news that the power curtail in comparison to last year would be more consumer friendly, let us hope that it transforms its claims into action on the ground and let it be hoped that the consumers are not forced to unscheduled power cuts that has been a precedence during past winters.

In comparison to last year’s power supply of 1250 MWs during winter, this year the concerned Corporation claims a jump in the supply to the tune of 500 MWs. However, the daily consumption of power in Kashmir this year would be 300 units in comparison to 270 units last year. Therefore, the consumers too have to do their bit to help the administration to fulfill its promise of low curtailment. It goes without saying that if consumers use power judiciously, particularly during peak morning and evening hours, it may help the authorities not to go for further curtailment.

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