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Long Power Cuts Make Kashmir’s Winter Harder

SRINAGAR:  As the harsh winter sets in, Kashmir is facing a severe power shortage. Unscheduled power cuts because of a huge gap between the supply and demand are making life difficult.

Winter nights have become even longer and colder with endless power cuts now means she’s trying to cram in as much as she can during the day.

Class 10 student Nisha is burning the midnight oil to prepare for her class 10 exams. “Without electricity it is very difficult. I study whenever I get time during the day but can’t do it after evening because there is no electricity,” she said.

 The electricity department issued notices on scheduled power cuts meant to be three hours for metered areas, and eighth hours for non-metered ones. But in reality, the power goes out at least for an additional five hours.

The power ministry says there is a shortfall of 400 megawatts of power in the valley.

“Demand does not meet the supply because people use excessive energy during winters so we have a problem which forces us to go for power cuts,” said Mohammad Ashraf Mir, the minister of state for power.

Official sources say the main reason behind the power problem in the state’s obsolete distribution network.

According to government data, transmission losses amount to nearly 50 percent of the power that should be available. This is not only means that ordinary citizens are affected but the state power department is losing approximately Rs. 3,000 crore every year.

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