Jammu residents who have to suffer the pangs of power cut should get ready for another bout with higher temperatures during this summer as less than expected rainfall and scanty snowfall will reduce the production of power at various hydel power projects in Jammu. Apart from that the failure of the power department to reduce power theft, and upgrade the transmission and distribution infrastructure will rub salt to the injury.
At present, J&K produces around 800 MW of power but in light of the reduced water in dams due to poor river discharge is likely to reduce the production capacity by half. The hydel power projects in the state on Chenab have already suffering due to the lesser discharge of water and Power Development Corporation said that power production is likely to be affected. There are 21 power projects being run in the state, and it has a demand of 2500 mw which forces it purchase addition power from national grid.
In view of the likely loss of production official predict that consumers especially in Jammu are likely to face trouble as summer temperature peaks in this region to near 46 degrees. In such high temperature the lack of regular power supply has often led to protests and demonstration by people as both electronic gadgets as well as water supply is badly impacted due to power cuts. The problems is further compounded by the fact that unscheduled power cuts are carried out in urban areas which have maximum consumption of power. In rural areas, which are worst hit by power losses the people get only power for 12 to 14 hours that has serious repercussions on farming sector.
The reduction in water discharge in the rivers is also likely to impact the supply of canal water for irrigation, said experts. And this would lead to over-dependence on ground water as more pumping would be needed to irrigate the fields.
In the wake of massive power challenge, the first step the coalition government lead by Mehbooba Mufti should do to win the confidence of people in Jammu is to ensure non-stop power supply. If the coalition government is able to do meet this challenge than it could be on its way to a successful tenure else the government will again be old wine in new bottle despite the BJP.