Kashmir Valley Plunges Into Darkness, PDD Says 'Men at Work'

Srinagar- Kashmir was plunged into darkness by the heavy overnight snowfall that caused extensive damage to transmission towers, power lines, poles and over a hundred transformers, prompting a massive restoration work by the Power Development Department (PDD)

According to reports, the heavy snowfall of the season led to power outages across the Valley, including this capital city on Wednesday.

The snowfall that started around midnight weighed down tree limbs and encrusted power lines. At least 8 towers suffered damages in Pantha Chowk and Balhama area of the city outskirts.

Besides it, 220 MegaWatt Transmission Line also suffered damages at Kralwari area of Budgam district, while three towers carrying 132KV transmission line from Mir Bazar area of Kulgam district have also been damaged by heavy snowfall.

Meanwhile the officials have said that only 40 percent of the total damage in the power supply has been restored and the work on the rest was being carried out.

“Due to heavy snowfall the power load in Kashmir had fallen down to 220 MW against a normal load of 1500 MW in the morning.” Chief Engineer, PDD, Aijaz Ahmed Dar, told Kashmir Observer.

“700 MW which is upto 45% of the total load, has already been restored and the rest of the 800 MW are currently being fixed. All the minor damages will be fixed in the next three to four hours. And we’re expecting that 1000MW will be restored by late evening today,” he added.

Notably, Kashmir region is reeling under darkness since early morning. Across the Srinagar city, hundreds of power Poles were seen damaged and power lines dumped on the ground due to heavy snowfall.

As per Chief Engineer, the power supply to the majority of the Srinagar city was restored by evening. “However, in other districts like Anantnag, Shopian, Kulgam and Ganderbal, the restoration would take a bit longer due to excessive damage on 11 KV and 33KV power supply by snowfall.” Dar told Kashmir Observer.

It is pertinent to mention here that since early morning, the Power Development Department had pushed its men and machinery to restore the electricity. However, the heavy snowfall had hampered their work.

“Out of 1031 feeders in the Kashmir valley, 850 feeders were out either because of fault or non-availability of grid.” Dar said. “Till evening, we’ve restored 200 feeders and the rest of the feeders are currently being fixed. We’ve more than 35,000 Direct Transmission’s in Kashmir and I guess about 150 transformers have been damaged due to snowfall. But, the exact figures are yet to be estimated.”

Dar further said, “We’re hopeful that the power supply in the entire Kashmir, including the major faults, will be restored by tomorrow evening.”

Meanwhile, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir P K Pole has said that all the essential services are being restored on war footing in Kashmir valley.

“All the essential services are being restored on war footing in Kashmir valley following heavy snowfall since Tuesday,” Pole said.

“20 to 25 per cent power lines have been affected due to snowfall. Divisional administration is working to restore electricity to the affected areas by evening.”

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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