Unscheduled power cuts annoy consumers in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, OCT 31: Kashmir is currently grappling with a severe power crisis, leaving residents and businesses in the lurch as they struggle to cope with prolonged energy shortages.

This crisis has been exacerbated by a variety of factors, including unfavorable weather conditions and an increasing demand for electricity.

Kashmir, known for its scenic beauty, has been facing an acute power shortage, with electricity supply dwindling below the required levels. The situation has been further compounded by a series of issues, making daily life a challenging endeavor for the region’s inhabitants.

The current power generation capacity in Kashmir falls drastically short of the growing demand. The region, with identified power generation potential, has been producing only a fraction of the required electricity.

This discrepancy has been particularly evident during the dry spell experienced during the summer months, which adversely impacted hydropower production in the area.

To put things in perspective, the power generation potential in Kashmir is estimated at 16,475 MW.

However, the  power generation stands at a mere 3,263 MW, supplied by 21 power projects. Of this capacity, the central sector contributes the most significant share, with 2,009 MW generated from seven key projects.

The private sector contributes a mere 42.5 MW through four projects. Hydropower projects have historically been the backbone of energy production in the region, with the Baglihar project leading the way with an installed capacity of 900 MW.

The consequences of this power crisis are most keenly felt in the region’s communities. Kashmir’s total electricity demand hovers around 2,600 MW, a significant gap from the actual supply. The power supply to the Kashmir division is capped at 1,200 MW, while Jammu receives 900 MW, leaving a substantial shortfall of approximately 500 MW.

A Senior Power Development Department (PDD) official, acknowledged the issue, stating, “We are doing our best to maintain the supply levels of the previous year. However, our available power stands at 1,400 MW from central and state generating agencies, while we are supplying 2,100 MW.” Despite these efforts, the region is unable to bridge the widening gap between supply and demand.

To address this pressing crisis, the Union Territory of Kashmir has sought additional power supply through the central power exchange, aiming to alleviate the plight of its residents. Nevertheless, even with the anticipated 700 MW of supplementary power, the Kashmir Valley continues to grapple with an alarming energy deficit.

The power crisis has had far-reaching effects, impacting not only the daily lives of Kashmiri residents but also the economic stability of the region. The administration is working diligently to identify potential solutions and bolster the electricity supply. As the situation unfolds, local authorities and residents are holding their breath, hoping for a swift resolution to restore normalcy and alleviate the hardships imposed by this power crisis.

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