Power Crisis Sends Valley Reeling Under Darkness

Srinagar—Metered as well as non-metered consumers in the valley accuse the Power Development Department (PDD) of not following its recently curtailment schedule and subjecting them to long hours of unscheduled power cuts.

As per the schedule, non-metered and metered consumers in the valley have to face twenty one and forty two hour power cuts, respectively. However in reality, the consumers complain, that the power outages last for longer durations.

The residents of various Srinagar areas including Bemina Habba Kadal, Fateh Kadal, SafaKadal, Khanyar, Batamaloo, Rambagh, Natipora,Sanat Nagar, Humhama and others alleged that PDD has failed to follow the electricity schedule. “Frequent power cuts have made the situation miserable for us. Despite the fact that we have been paying regular bills, we are left to suffer amid freezing cold,” Habibullah, a resident of Bemina said.

Many people believe that curtailment in the metered areas is against the norms, as the department is bound to provide them round-the-clock power supply. “We are witnessing frequent power cuts despite our locality being fully metered. It is very tough to survive without electricity in this bone-chilling weather,” Shakeel Ahmad Rather, a resident of Qamarwari said.

One of the officials of the PDD said curtailment was enforced by “excessive overloading”. “Due to the excessive overloading in some areas, we have to cut power for more hours,” the official said, appealing people to avoid ‘misuse’ of electricity.

The official said the system is heavily overloaded load. However he accused that that people are resorting to theft and hooking. “Even in posh colonies people resort to hooking creating problem in smooth supply of electricity,”

Sources said that dry weather is also a reason for unscheduled power cuts as electricity generation has gone down.

Similar complaints have been received from all most all the districts of the valley about the power curtailment. “We are facing regular power cuts for past one week even when the area is fully metered,” said a resident of Baramullah.

“In our area there is no schedule for load-shedding and it is up to PDD employees to curtail the power and they exercise the curtailment option frequently,” said Asim Mustafa of Baramullah

Sopore people alleged that, the unscheduled power cuts are a norm.

Kursheeh Ahmad of Baramullah said that the problem intensifies in the evening and the area is completely blacked out for several hours.

He said that every year PDD comes up with a same excuse of less generation and more demand. “Despite power tariff being raised so many times during past years, PDD has nothing to offer to its consumers except lame excuses,” he added.

The situation is not different in north Kashmir’s Kupwara and Sopore areas. “Even the metered colonies are being subjected to long power cuts,” people complained.

The residents of Noorbagh, New Colony, Batpoora, Armpora, Khushal Mutu also complained about unprecedented power cuts.

The consumers allege that the situation has gone from bad to worse during the past few weeks. They added that power cuts are more frequent and extended during the evening hours.

The residents from several areas of south Kashmir and Central Kashmir, including Bijbehara, Budgam revealed that electricity disappears for the whole day and most of the times it vanishes completely in the evening.

Residential localities in central and southern parts of Kashmir, according to the residents, have plunged into darkness owing to the erratic power supply. The residents revealed they were facing acute power shortage and the unscheduled power supply had become a cause of great concern in their areas.

They said the students were drastically affected due to prolonged power curtailments.

“For past two weeks we are facing power curtailments which continue for several hours together. I should say the electricity vanishes for the entire day at times we do not see any power in evenings. In 24 hours we are provided with power for only two to three hours,” a delegation of residents from various areas of Bijbehara town of south Kashmir said.

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