Srinagar, Nov 22: With the advent of winter pesky power cuts in metered and non-metered areas across Kashmir have become a norm.
Many areas are witnessing load shedding for many hours and the situation is likely to worsen in the coming days. Kashmir Power Development Corporation has made it clear that demand is more and supply is less and this gap cannot be filled till the winter ends.
This is not for the first time that Kashmir is facing power cuts during winter. It has been happening for the past so many years. Winter means no power.
“In the areas where there are no meters the power cuts are justified as people don’t make judicious use of the electricity. In metered areas power cuts have to be carried out to strike a balance,” said a KPDCL official.
He said, “Besides supply being less, transmission and distribution losses are the another factor responsible for the power cuts.”
The Power Department has struggled for years to plug in these losses but has not succeeded. “The government has already finalized a plan to install smart meters in J&K and in coming months the electricity will become a pre-paid commodity. We need to get ready to shell extra money to keep our homes glowing,” said a consumer.
Another official of the KPDCL said, “The revenue collection has always been a cause of concern for the Power Department. Everyone is aware of the fact that the KPDCL purchases electricity at higher rates and later sells it at subsidized cost.”
He said, “People will have to bear these cuts as they get electricity at very cheap rate. For the past four years, power tariff in J&K has not been increased and it has remained the same. Despite our repeated attempts we have not been able to install the meters in the areas where we have faced resistance from the people. So how is it possible for the department to provide uninterrupted power supply during winter months. If people want power then then will have to pay for it as they cannot have the cake and eat it too.”
Another consumer said, “Despite power supply being irregular we have to pay hefty electric bills every month. Electricity is becoming dearer with each passing day but the power scenario continues to be grim. Every year we hope that situation will improve but it doesn’t happen. Power cuts in winter have become inseparable parts of our lives and we have accepted it as our destiny.”