Why is Kashmir still facing unscheduled power curtailments?

By Asiya Raheem

Despite having an estimated potential of 20,000 MW of hydel power, every year our state faces worsening electricity scenario. The gap between demand and supply is going from bad to worse, yet the government chooses to evade this fact by announcing curtailment schedules every winter. So how exactly is the common man suffering because of this gross oversight? Team KO inquires about the power scenario from various people. 

abid aijaz
Whatever electricity is generated is taken by the central government. So what are they going to supply to Kashmir? Our resources are being exploited for generation of electricity for others. Electricity supply here in Kashmir is a real mess.
—— Abid Aijaz , Private Employee
Adil Khan
Despite paying electricity bills regularly, we don’t get regular electric supply. What prevents the PDD from providing us electricity? We have electric meters installed but still have erratic power supply. Our PDD department seems to be doing nothing to improve electric supply in our homes.
—— Adil Khan, Government Employee
Khazir Mohammad
We are facing acute power crisis in our locality. Low voltage and unscheduled power cuts are causing us a lot of miseries. Our children aren’t able to give their 100% to their studies as they need laptops and internet connection for that. Our demands for a better working transformer are falling on deaf ears.
—— Khazir Mohammad, Retired Officer
Aijaz Ahmed
Every year, the government pleads innocence by citing increased consumption and hooking. However, I fail to understand why the government does not plan for the increased consumption in advance. Why doesn’t the government undertake preventive maintenance of the electric lines and transformers during the summer, instead of waiting for winters? Also, PDD linemen and inspectors are hand in glove with the consumers with regards to power theft.
—— Aijaz Ahmed , Lab Technician
Firdous Ahmed
Non metered areas as well as metered areas are reeling under darkness this winter. There are more than 57 hours of power cuts every week in non-metered areas while metered areas get about 17 hours of power cuts every week. Taking into account scheduled and unscheduled power cuts, most parts of the valley are facing acute electricity shortage.
—— Firdous Ahmed, Student
Mudasir Ahmed
Our valley is reeling under darkness. Government had promised it would supply uninterrupted electricity to metered areas but the new power curtailment schedule has proved all these promises a mere hoax. The situation in rural areas is far worse and most of the villages don’t get electricity for days together.
—— Mudasir Ahmed , Teacher
Inam Ahmed
The frequency of power cuts in metered as well as non-metered areas has increased this winter. In the non-metered areas, the power scenario is set to worsen further, with the department mulling to increase curtailment schedule to nine hours per day as opposed to the 3 hours right now. Power cuts result in huge inconveniences especially during winters, forcing people to migrate elsewhere.
—— Inam Ahmed , Banker
Fatima Begum
We are facing too many problems due to prolonged electric curtailments, government has inflicted miseries on us as it has failed to provide us electricity during the time we require it the most. Frequent power-cuts even in metered areas are a huge inconvenience. Our evenings are often spend in darkness thanks to these unscheduled cuts.
—— Fatima Begum, Homemaker
Mujeeb Ganai
The massive power curtailment, sometimes for as long as seventeen hours in non-metered areas, is not new to our valley. As soon as the winter sets in, Kashmir experiences severe electricity shortage.
—— Mujeeb Ganai , Government Teacher
Khawar Sheikh
Despite producing enormous amounts of energy through its power projects, our valley still reels under darkness. Students are the worst sufferers. I cannot study for my exams as we get very low voltage. Despite living in a metered area, I have to study by candle light.
—— Khawar Sheikh, Private Employee
Talib Irshad
At the time when the electric meters were installed, we were assured 24 hours of power supply but two years on we are still facing long curtailments every day. Although we pay the bills regularly, we still don’t get quality service.
—— Talib Irshad , Student
Sameer Khan
We barely get few hours of power supply per day. The authorities resort to power cuts as per their own wishes in our locality. Each passing day, the frequency of unscheduled power cuts is increasing. This is happening despite our area being fully metered.
—— Sameer Khan , Government Employee
Mohammad Aqib
Living in a non-metered area, we face immense inconveniences due to unscheduled power cuts. We have only two scheduled power cuts in a week but hardly have electricity, yet receive electricity bills more than the agreed amount.
—— Mohammad Aqib, Private Employee
Tawqeer Hazari
When meters were installed here, the department promised round-the-clock power supply, but every winter the power woes worsen even though the government promises better supply. The government must help people in winter when most of the work is dependent on electricity. They are contradicting and violating their own rules.
—— Tawqeer Hazari , Businessman
Ubaid Yaseen
We have hourly and two hourly power cuts in the mornings and evenings. There are no long hours of scheduled curtailment. However, the situation is worse for metered consumers in old city areas.
—— Ubaid Yaseen , Private Employee
Ours is a metered area, but the power supply here is even worse than non-metered areas. Every day, we face power cuts for either first or second half of the day; then there are hourly or two hourly power cuts after every two hours. Once a week, we get 4 hours of power curtailment. It is similar to the schedule followed in non-metered areas where consumers face evening power cuts twice a week. We pay more without any benefits.
—— Salika Ayoub, Homemaker
Daily power cuts for 12 to 15 hours are common occurrences in Kashmir especially in winters when, without electricity performing even minor chores becomes difficult. We pay huge electric bills every month but despite that every day there are long unscheduled power cuts. My house gets electricity for only two hours a day but the other areas in our locality which are metered get at least seventeen hours of power supply.
—— Shagufta Akhtar, Homemaker
The consumers are yet to be provided an uninterrupted power supply as most metered areas still face curtailments for about six hours everyday day. Every year we are assured better power supply but the situation instead worsens.
—— Nissar Ahmed , Self Employed

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