PDC’s claims fall flat ahead of widespread snowfall
While as Kashmir Valley is yet to witness widespread snowfall, barring a little bit of it on higher reaches, the power supply has already come down drastically. Kashmir has a long history of administrative failures during winters particularly on the front of electricity distribution system. 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.
A few days back, the Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation officials made tall claims making people believe that this winter it would have ‘the lowest power curtailment schedule in a decade’. They promised that 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. People were excited. They were debating all over about the issue and praising the Lt Governor administration. However, the excitement proved to be having very minimum shelf-life. The situation, on the ground, negated everything that the PDC officials were claiming. While as the Valley is yet to receive the snowfall, most of the areas, metered as well as non-metered, are facing power curtailment of 8 to 10 hours in 24 hours. PDC claims have become a butt of joke.
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. That is what people suffered in 2019 November. Despite the claims made by PDC authorities, the way things are shaping up in Kashmir, this winter would be terrible as far as power supply is concerned.
Hoping against the hope, the people still believe that the Lt Governor administration does something so that the consumers are not forced to face long and unscheduled power cuts that has been a precedence during past winters. Besides, the administration should make the PDC officials accountable and question them that why they couldn’t abide by the load-shedding schedule that they themselves had announced. Someone is to be punished for spreading lies. That said, 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.