Updated January 19th, 2024 at 12:54 IST
Power Blues: Valley Faces Extended Outages as KPDCL Braces Residents For Darker Days
Insiders reveal that Power Development Department (PDD) grapples with old and obsolete infrastructure, hindering the provision of uninterrupted power supply.
Darker days lie ahead for the residents of the valley as Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) has just announced an impending surge in daily power curtailment, adding an extra 2 to 2.5 hours of outage to the already scheduled power cuts.
The latest decision comes as a response to the acute water scarcity stemming from the absence of snow in the valley, significantly intensifying the challenges faced by consumers during the harsh winter conditions.
Residents are bracing for tougher times as the valley grapples with this additional hurdle
Mubashir Farooq, a local resident, said “As consumers, we understand the challenges, but the increased power cuts are pushing us to the limits. It's affecting our daily lives."
As local residents are expressing their concerns as they brace for tougher times another resident lamented, “With the extended power cuts, our reliance on alternative sources of energy will increase, adding extra expenses. It's a challenging situation for everyone,” Faraz Khan said.
Environmentalists like Saima Khan highlight the critical implications of climate-related factors on the region's power infrastructure. “Decision sheds light on the critical implications of climate-related factors on the region's power infrastructure. The water scarcity issue, linked to the absence of snowfall, not only heightens the ongoing challenges but also underscores the vulnerability of the power grid to environmental fluctuations,” said an environmentalist, Saima Khan.
Officials within the power department revealed that power generation capacity in Jammu and Kashmir has significantly reduced by 85Percent due to water shortages, despite the total power generation capacity across the region being 1200 Megawatts.
Principal Secretary to the Power Development Department (PDD), H Rajesh Prasad, had emphasised at a substantial shortfall in power generation from the Union Territory pool.
“From the state pool, we have a power generation capacity of 1200 MW. However, due to the shortage of water, we are generating only 150 MWs during the ongoing winters,” said Prasad while emphasizing regions dependence on the central pool to bridge power gaps.
According to Prasad, out of the total capacity of 2800 MWs, region receives 2650 MWs from the central pool, with only 150 MWs being generated from the state pool, including recent Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) made by the JKPDD.
In December 2023, Jammu and Kashmir government signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s) for 2500 MW to double the existing power availability in the ongoing fiscal year. A high-level meeting then was chaired by Union Minister of Power, New and Renewable Energy R. K. Singh and J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha discussed measures to address power sector challenges in the region.
Meanwhile, insiders reveal that Power Development Department (PDD) grapples with old and obsolete infrastructure, hindering the provision of uninterrupted power supply. There is an urgent need to replace outdated elements in the distribution network, some of which have been in use for over 40 years despite repeated repairs. The outdated infrastructure has led to frequent disruptions, posing threats to both personnel and equipment.
Published January 19th, 2024 at 12:54 IST