KV News

Powerless winter

Powerless winter
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This year the month of October has been relatively cooler compared to the previous years. The data obtained from the MeT office also points out that the night temperature in the present month has witnessed a downslide and is below normal owing to the fact that many hilly areas across Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed early snowfall.Kashmir witnessing an early onset of winter has meant that the winter woes of the people have already knocked on our doors. Not only has the need to get warm clothing and other necessities dawned on us much ahead of the schedule but our energy requirements too will witness an upswing during the coming days.However, this year people may not be lucky enough to get the required power supply as the Valley is likely to face acute shortage of power as two key projects that would have increased the energy handling capacity within the Valley by around 500-MW have not been completed.Even though the energy requirement has not witnessed a drastic increase but the power development department (PDD) has already started to implement an unscheduled power curtailment programme across the Valley. Even the fully metered areas in Srinagar city are witnessing power cuts for hours together and this schedule is going to get worse in days to come.The Valley has a power requirement of around 1900-MW at peak hour and the PDD is able to handle only 1250-MW within the region owing to deficient grid infrastructure, leaving deficit of 650-MW.The upgradation works in two major grids (both centrally-funded)—Alestang and Budgam though approved in 2006 have been left incomplete even though effors by the previous government to get things moving also failed to bear any fruit.Last year the PDD authorities were asked to complete pending works on Budgam grid which is functioning partially, besides the works left incomplete in the Alesteng grid were also set to be completed within a period of eight months, but nothing of that sort happened.Once completed, the two grids would have enhanced the capacity at local level by around 500-MW, sufficient to meet the energy needs of the entire valley.For the past few weeks, the Valley has been witnessing a regular dip in temperature and the abrupt change has meant that the energy needs of the people have shot up. The abrupt increase has meant that a gap in supply and demand is already being witnessed and an unending power curtailment schedule is the only answer the PDD can offer to the people here.Since the state is presently being run by the Governor who is heading the administration, the government should immediately take up steps to initiate works on the two grid stations and get the incomplete works done at an earliest.

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