The load-shedding has affected mainly Srinagar where consumers have repeatedly taken to the streets in protests.
Srinagar: Kashmir Valley is reeling under freezing temperatures and prolonged power cuts are only adding to the miseries of its over six million population.
Srinagar, the summer capital of the State, recorded the minimum temperature of minus 6.5 degrees on Wednesday night, the lowest in the last six years. That incidentally on the night when ‘Chillai Kalan’, as the 40-day harshest part of winter is known in the Kashmiri folklore, started. Leh was freezing at 13.2 degrees Celsius.
In order to beat the biting cold, the people need better power supply but since the generation from local hydroelectric projects has — with the sharp decrease in river water levels — gone down by over 70 per cent. Hence frequent and prolonged power cuts. The load-shedding has affected mainly Srinagar where consumers have repeatedly taken to the streets in protests. Official sources said that the J&K power development department is presently buying 500MW power from the neighbouring states to tide over the deficit. The state requires 2,600MW of power on a daily basis but due to steep decline in power generation, the department is able to supply only 2,030 MW of power to its consumers.
However, a PDD official, seeking anonymity, told this newspaper that the department requires 1,600 to 1,700MW power to meet the daily requirement in the Kashmir Valley alone, but at an average only 1,100 MW power is available, forcing the department to go in for 8 to 9 hour scheduled power cuts on rotational basis every day.
“During peak evening and morning hours, we do cut power supply to various areas without any prior intimation.”