No relief in sight from power cuts in Kashmir

No relief in sight from power cuts in Kashmir
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SRINAGAR: Consumers’ extravagant use of electricity and the non-bearing capacity of grid stations this winter are responsible for extra power cuts continuing the inherited problems of the Kashmir Valley with uninterrupted power supply.
Sources in the Power Development Department (PDD), which supplies electricity to households in the state, told Kashmir Reader that consumers use an extra 700 MWs of energy during winters, which leads to the power cuts.
“We have a peak demand of 1,300 MWs, but we get to consume about 2,100 MWs. This extravagant use of energy is caused by the expensive heating devices installed in houses, like boilers and heaters, which lead to cuts in the power supply,” sources said.
Ever since the government moved to winter capital Jammu as part of its annual routine, the Kashmir Valley has been getting power cuts beyond the departments time schedule. PDD, as per its schedule, sources said, is supposed to cut power for five hours in metered areas and for eight hours in unmetered areas.
“But the energy gets cut beyond this time because consumers make extravagant use of power. A consumer who is supposed to use 1KW ends up using 4 to 5. Where will we get this additional supply from? Hence the cuts,” sources added.
Asked why the department cannot buy additional power to meet the demand, sources said, the valley does not have enough grid capacity to receive the power supply. Sources said Alestang power station, which could have helped to get more power, is undergoing work.
“Till it is done, the additional power supply can’t be made. There are no monetary shortages, which are believed to be the reason,” sources said.
The additional transmission line which was handed over to the PDD earlier this year could also not be used for getting the power supply. The line that can fetch 2,000 MW of energy is the fourth transmission line and is enough to get the power, but stations to receive it are still under construction.
Chief Engineer at the PDD’s Electric Maintenance wing Hashmat Qazi told Kashmir Reader that in the next two to three weeks, some of the stations will be functional that can improve the power supply in the Valley.