People suffering due to scheduled, unscheduled power cuts
Sharp dip in generation from all hydroelectric projects
JAMMU, Sept 29: Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is reeling under shortage of around 1000 Mega Watts (MW) of electricity due to sharp dip in generation from all hydroelectric projects as a result of which people are being subjected to scheduled and unscheduled power cuts in most of the areas. Moreover, the Government is finding it difficult to purchase additional power from the Northern Grid to meet the requirement of the consumers because of high cost.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that in Jammu province there is requirement of 1100 to 1200 Mega Watts of electricity to provide uninterrupted power supply to the consumers but at present there is shortfall of 450 to 500 Mega Watts mainly because of zero generation from Stage-II of Baglihar Hydroelectric Project.
“No doubt Stage-II of Baglihar Hydroelectric Project stops electricity generation from ending September or first week of October every year but this year there is no generation even from middle of September because of prolonged dry spell and subsequent very less discharge in Chenab river”, they said, adding “due to this there is shortfall of 450 Mega Watts of electricity from this project resulting into prevailing power crisis”.
Similarly, there is shortage of 450 to 500 Mega Watts of electricity in Kashmir province as power generation from hydroelectric projects on Jhelum river has come down drastically because of prolonged dry spell leading to reduction in water level in most of the water bodies.
“Due to shortage of around 1000 Mega Watts of electricity people are suffering a lot as Jammu Power Distribution Corporation Limited (JPDCL) and Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) are resorting to power curtailments after regular intervals”, sources said, adding “in most of the areas scheduled as well as unscheduled power cuts are being imposed by the authorities much to the inconvenience of the consumers”.
“The Government is finding it difficult to purchase additional power from the Northern Grid mainly because of high cost”, they said, adding “as majority of the hydroelectric power projects in the country are generating less electricity at present because of less discharge in the rivers the cost of generation has gone up considerably”.
“We have no other option but to resort to power curtailments in phased manner keeping in view the prevailing crisis”, said Managing Director of Jammu Power Distribution Corporation Limited (JPDCL) Anant Tayal when contacted, adding “we are trying to impose minimum possible curtailments in urban areas particularly where smart meters have been installed”.
In response to a question, he said, “Government is making efforts to purchase additional power and hopefully the situation will improve in the coming days”.
When contacted, Chief Engineer of KPDCL Javed Yousuf Dar confirmed shortage of 450 to 500 Mega Watts of electricity and said, “curtailment is the only option left for us. Moreover, during the past few days the demand of electricity has increased because of snowfall in the upper reaches as a result of which we are compelled to impose more power cuts”.
Like Managing Director of JPDCL, the Chief Engineer of KPDCL too stated that Government was making attempts to purchase additional power to meet the requirement of the people. He, however, expressed inability to specify time-frame for improvement in the situation.
Meanwhile, a number of electricity consumers of different parts of Jammu city approached EXCELSIOR and conveyed serious concern over unscheduled power cuts in their respective areas. “We have been told by the officials of the JPDCL that there will be four hours curtailment particularly in the areas where smart meters have been installed but actually the curtailment exceeds even five to six hours”, they said.
“When we contacted the JPDCL to ascertain the time-frame of power cuts they told us that maximum four hours cuts will be imposed in phased manner but they resorted to six hours cuts in 24 hours”, said residents of Maheshwar Enclave Paloura, Janipur, New Plots etc and appealed the JPDCL authorities to strictly adhere to four hours curtailment in a day.
Similar complaints were also received from the people of Srinagar city and its adjoining areas against KPDCL authorities.