Residents, businesses suffer with frequent power cuts in commercial hub Batamaloo

Residents, businesses suffer with frequent power cuts in commercial hub Batamaloo
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Photo courtesy: Danish Ismail/Reuters

Srinagar: Frequent unscheduled power-cuts have made lives of people difficult in winters in Kashmir and people are demanding concrete measures to solve the power crisis.

“Due to frequent power cuts we suffer a lot, as in this era, technology plays an important role for any business and we have to recode thing in our computer system, and due to the power cuts we are not able to work properly, we have already installed inverters but that too gets down because of insufficient electricity,” said Rameez Ahmad, who runs a Pharmacy in Batamaloo area of Srinagar.

“I have to pay employees for making the records of the company and they can hardly work four hours in a day. It is just the beginning of winter, in fact harsh winter is yet to come and electricity has vanished already in Valley,” he said.

He said the power development department employs a curtailment schedule according to which there is a two hour cut after every two hour supply, however, the two hour supply period is erratic, to say the least.

The power is curtailed every ten minutes leaving the people high and dry. The service gets worse during the night hours, when the service is snapped for hours with half an hour of supply in between.

“I started a beauty salon few months ago, but from last two months I am facing many issues because of power curtailment. I don’t have an inverter (battery) and my service is almost dependent upon electricity, I am losing my customers, PDD is not even following their own power schedule,” said Iqra, who runs a salon in Karan Nagar area.

The power outage is also making people suffer in cold, as traditional heating measures like firewood have given way to modern gadgets running on power. PDD, as per its own schedule, is supposed to cut power for five hours in metered areas and for eight hours in non-metered areas but that is hardly the case on ground. Instead, people get power for a few hours.

President of SDA Complex Batamaloo Mehraj- ud-Din told Kashmir Reader that there are around 1100 shopkeepers in the complex, and they all suffer due to power cuts.

“For inverters we need electricity, and if we buy a generator for that we need kerosene which is not available in the market, what do we do. Every evening we have to put on lights of our cars to even shut the shops properly,” he said.

He lamented that Kashmir was facing power problems despite having enough resources for hydropower.

Residents complained that they are hardly receiving four to five hours of electricity in a day.

“When we go back to our homes during evenings, it is dangerous in the dark streets with dogs roaming around,” a shopkeeper from Batmaloo said.

The power crisis also creates problems for students.

“Some days back I have to do copy (Photostat) my study material and we are not able to do as every shopkeeper told us there is no electricity. After a lost of struggles we found one shopkeeper and he charged us seven rupees for a two-side pages, on generator,” said Tanzeela, a student.