SRINAGAR: Electricity supply in Kashmir this winter may well improve, if a project to enhance transmission load and speed is complete, as the power department expects, by the end of October.
Muzaffar Mattu, Chief Engineer, System Operation Wing, of Power Development Department (PDD), told Kashmir Reader that the project is 70 percent complete. “The work is going fast. If all goes well, this winter households in Kashmir will have power supply without unscheduled cuts,” he said.
Kashmir’s perennial problem of unscheduled power cuts starts as soon as the winter season begins. Apart from the scheduled cuts of three hours each day in metered areas, and of six hours daily in unmetered areas, the Valley suffers from frequent unscheduled power cuts for long hours. This is because the peak demand goes up from 1200 MW to 1600 MW, which has to be supplied trough transmission lines that only have capacity for the former.
To solve this problem, the state government in 2010 proposed establishment of new transmission lines of 220 KV from Zainkote-Alsytang, 132 KV to Badampora, and 33KV to Ganderbal. However, according to Mattu, due to contractors frequently leaving the work, the project has been delayed by eight years. Mattu said the Rs 100-crore project could be completed otherwise in maximum three years.
“Now the entire infrastructure required for it has been purchased, and most of it has been installed. The project is on the last leg,” he said.
Mattu said that the new transmission line will supply power to Ganderbel and Bandipora belt through a different route, which otherwise was transported through lines not meant for the load.
The Alistang transmission line will also support the proposed 220 KV Srinagar-Leh transmission line which is also going through construction, he said.
Last year, the government’s move of augmenting power supply could not materialise because the Valley had no transmission capacity. Once this was known, the government speeded up work. The work may bear fruit this October.