Power outage

December 26, 2016 EDITORIAL 377 Views
Power outage

There is a sharp dip in the temperature in crisis-hit Kashmir valley. Temperature in the valley has been dropping with minimum recorded temperatures in the past few days reading below zero degree Celsius. Meteorological Department has said that there will be no change in dry weather in the coming days and that temperature may further drop below the freezing point in Kashmir region. Minimum temperatures are lower than those recorded at this time of year. The state’s power demand has shown a steady rise over the years. Against the requirement of 1400 MW of electricity at the peak evening hours the Power Development Department is making available only 1050 MW of power. In the evening hours it is mostly the residential houses which use the power as the commercial and industrial activity remains suspended. Due to the gap between the demand and the supply, the PDD has to resort to outages which put the people through difficult time. Even as the state government has been blaming the consumers for using the electricity much higher than the agreed load, the government is only to be held responsible for this. The theft of electricity is very common as the government’s plan to upgrade the existing power infrastructure and to meter the supply points has not been implemented on the ground. The state has taken in hand the work to use the cabled wires in Srinagar and some major towns so that the people can’t resort to power thefts, however, the work which was to be taken up under the accelerated power development reforms programme has not been executed on ground. Majority of the households across Kashmir division have not been metered due to which the demand of the consumers is not fully met. The government has revised the deadlines from time to time to carry out the metering of the residential houses. In the wake of the approaching winter season the demand for electricity will further go up, but as has been witnessed in the past the PDD resorts to unscheduled power cuts which is causing major inconvenience to the people. During winters even the electricity remains snapped to the hospitals due to which they have to make heavy expenses on the use of diesel to run the central heating system. The power demand will further go up in the coming years as the industrial activity in the state picks up due to which there is a dire need that the government works out a plan to meet the growing demand of electricity. The frequent power outages are a major dampener and will reduce the prospectus of the growth of economy in the state. State has the potential to meet the demand as it has an estimated capacity to produce  20,000 MW of cheaper hydel power, which needs to be harnessed and the government should do this through its existing company, Power Development Corporation (PDC). A plan to borrow the money from the market could help the state reap the dividend of the vast hydel potential.

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