Winters have passed and summers are here but there is no respite from the power curtailment schedule in Kashmir. The problem is however compound non-metered areas. When it comes to power scenario in valley the place is divided into two parts which include — metered areas and non-metered areas.
The metered areas of the valley seldom face power crisis. They get the sufficient electricity with less frequency of power cuts and at some places curtailment at all.
While according to the PDD schedule for metered area the electricity remains off for four to five areas and for others it is six to nine hours – which people say is an injustice.
They say that despite paying the same amount of bill every month they are being made to suffer.
“There is a disparity within the city. People who live in posh areas or civil lines of the city get regular electricity while those living in old city say they have been getting the intermittent supply always,” says Zakir Lone, a government employee.
Talking further on this issue he says that despite paying a good amount of money every month they don’t get the regular supply of energy.
“We are being meted out with harsh treatment by the government. Though power generation at this time remains high but still we don’t get the adequate supply.”
People say that Kashmir though generates its own electricity but longs for it. “We have no rights over our own energy and that is disheartening,” says Ali Mohammad, a resident of Kawdara, in old town of Srinagar.
For us electricity remains off for at least six to nine hours daily which is torturous, people say.
The government has started the installation of metres in other areas of the city as well but the process was stopped due to some unknown reasons.
Commenting on the issues of installation of metres the people in old city say that they have been asking PDD officials to get them in place but they are never heard.
“Metered areas receive regular supply of power which is our demand as well. I have asked a PDD official to install one in our area but he has no answers,” says Zameer Khan, a resident of old city.
However, there are some places where metres have been installed but are lying defunct. “A metre for my shop was installed some three years back but till now it never worked,” says Ghulam Qadir, a resident of Safa Kadal in old city.
The condition people say are remain same for them both in winter as well as summer. “For us the summer and winter are just the same, the electricity never gets regular here,” Qadir adds.
For people the power cuts in summers are more atrocious. “It’s the terrible heat which gets followed by the pesky power cuts and makes living difficult,” says Hamid Khan, a shopkeeper.
Khan says even their business gets halted by this. “During the day when electricity remains off customers don’t prefer to shop as it remains terribly hot then.”
The condition however remains comparatively better in summers than winters, people add.
“Yes, in winter the condition becomes worse and in comparison to that summers are better but keeping in view the heat PDD should consider lowering the power cutting hours,” Lone adds.
The Ramazan is approaching and people are getting more worried about the heat and power curtailment.
“In the month of Ramazan heat hits you badly and that is the time when electricity is a must. We want PDD to look into the matter so that the power cuts can be lowered by the next week, says Farooq Ahmad.
However, according to a PDD official the demand and supply gap is quite large this season and it is the reason that power cuts are abundant.
He says this year the demand has increased as compared to previous year making it upto 1700 megawatts.