SRINAGAR: Rise in day temperatures and flow in water bodies has brought back electricity for more hours after an intense six-month-long dark winter in Kashmir Valley. This has become possible due to people giving up heating gadgets they used in winter, and increased water flow in rivers and streams boosting local hydropower generation.
Chief Engineer at the Electric Maintenance wing of Power Development Department (PDD), Kashmir, Hashmat Qazi said that metered areas will now have only three-hour curtailment a day in power supply, while unmetered areas will have no more than six-hour curtailment daily. This is more than three hours of power supply in metered areas and two hours in unmetered areas as compared to winter, he said.
“There is drop in load, and hence power supply has improved. The load drop has come as a result of people giving up heaters, electric blankets, and blowers. We also have some local generation now, which increases our capacity to supply power,” Qazi told Kashmir Reader.
This seasonal pattern of power schedule is well known in Kashmir, which sees scheduled and unscheduled power cuts more in winter, and less in summers. Kashmir’s hopes of solving this perennial problem still remain hopes because of unimproved grid capacity that is unable to achieve 220/132 KV level.
The lack of grid capacity at 220/132 KV level shows its worst effect during winters, when Kashmir’s power consumption crosses 2000 MW, more than 1100 MW of what the PDD has agreed to supply consumers. The PDD still supplies power at 1250 MW, which is 400 MW more than its agreement with consumers, but it has to resort to scheduled and unscheduled power cuts.
Now, though, summer is approaching and the consumption load is quickly coming down. There is also more local hydropower generation due to water once again cascading down mountains and gurgling through streams.