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As electric power supply worsens in Kashmir, GoI allocates additional 293 MW to meet winter demand

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Srinagar: The Government of India (GoI) has increased power allocation to J&K by about 293 MW by transferring power from distant powerhouses in West Bengal, Bihar and even Bhutan, an official spokesperson informed Thursday.

According to the spokesperson for the Jammu & Kashmir Power Development Department (JKPDD), in today’s digital era, modern tools and software enable power transfer and management in an automated manner without requiring any human intervention, depending upon the demand, availability, and of course the network feasibility.

Regarding new power allocations made today by Government of India to J&K, the spokesperson said that Jammu & Kashmir, being primarily dependent on hydroelectric power, faces significant fall in generation during winters due to low water level in rivers and therefore, around 85 percent of power supply during winters is sourced from thermal plants to compensate for the deficit during winters.

The spokesperson reiterated that the UT is making every effort to ensure sustainable and firm power availability throughout the year. In this direction, during the current financial year, the UT has entered into “historic” Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for 1600 MW of solar power , 900 MW from hydro, and an additional 500 MW from thermal plants, currently in progress following the decision of the UT Administrative Council under the Shakti policy. 

“This will not only lead towards resource adequacy for the region, but will also provide an optimal mix of hydro, thermal, solar generation, while the efforts are underway to harness wind power as well so that the strength behind renewable energy is utilized to the maximum,” the spokesperson said.

Addressing concerns raised in a recent news item published in one of the local news dailies on November 30, 2023, highlighting a surge in interruptions in J&K, the spokesperson reiterated that a persistent issue contributing to these interruptions is the non-disclosure of actual electric load by consumers.

Regarding the hours of power supply to consumers, the spokesperson conveyed that smart metering is under implementation in mission mode and focus is on ensuring uninterrupted and regular power supply in areas saturated with smart meters, while also curbing losses.

“In areas without smart metering, the department is sustaining the same number of power supply hours as maintained during the previous year. Moreover, there is a curtailment schedule in effect which is diligently being published to prevent any inconvenience to the public.”

The spokesperson further emphasized that electricity remains the primary and preferred source for heating, with people using “crude” nichrome wires or non-thermostat-fitted heaters which remain operational throughout the day.

Recognizing the urgency, the spokesperson emphasized on discontinuing the use of obsolete and environmentally unfriendly electric heating systems. T

The spokesperson also mentioned that numerous crude heaters which have been banned by the department were recovered by the enforcement squads of KPDCL in the recently conducted inspection drives.

In addition to maintaining reliable power supply amidst extreme weather conditions, the Power Development Department (PDD) is proactively engaged in eradicating instances of illegal hooking. In the last seven days, inspection teams of KPDCL have conducted 7585 inspections in different districts of Kashmir region and imposed a fine of Rs 68 lakhs on the defaulters.

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