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With frequent power cuts, Valley gropes in darkness for longer hours

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Srinagar: Kashmir is going through one of its worst power crisis as unscheduled and prolonged cuts in supply in the holy month of Ramzan have left the people distraught.

People from different parts of the Valley said are upset over the disruption in power supply especially at the time of ‘Sehri’ (when pre-dawn meals to begin the day’s fast are taken) and ‘Iftar’ (when the fast is broken).

The rural areas are the worst hit.

People from north, centre and south have been complaining about the erratic power supply and have been taking to social media platforms to register their anger.

The scenario is not better in capital city of Srinagar.

During winters, there was a specific power curtailment schedule and people would plan their household and other activities accordingly. But now it is all unpredictable. You don’t know when to expect the electric supply and when not, said most of the people whom this newspaper contacted.

The situation is almost same in both metered and non-metered areas, reports suggest.

Almost all the political parties including NC, PDP, JKPC, CPI(M) and Apni Party have been regularly issuing statements about the power crisis, however, there has been no improvement in the situation.

It may be mentioned here that ahead of the month of Ramzan, the UT administration had assured that it would ensure uninterrupted power supply particularly during Sehri and Iftar hours. However, these are the two timings when Valley gropes in darkness, complain people.

The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) also expressed its concern over the unscheduled power cuts.

“We have never seen such worst and frequent cuts in the holy month, especially during Sehri and Iftaar,” a KCCI spokesman said.

Patients, who are on oxygen support at their homes, were struggling throughout, it added.

The Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL), for its part, said the entire country, and not just Kashmir, was facing power crisis due to “shortage of coal” and imbalance in demand and supply.

KPDCL chief engineer Javid Yusuf told PTI that there was coal shortage across the country, leading to frequent power cuts.

Also, there is less power supply, but the demand is huge, and then the electricity generation in hydro power projects in the union territory is poor due to less rainfall, he said.

Officials said the demand for electricity in Kashmir is around 1,600 megawatt (MW), while the supply is only of about 900 to 1100 MW.

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