Mirwaiz slams govt over power crisis in Valley

  • HT Correspondent, Srinagar
  • |
  • Updated: Apr 13, 2013 17:45 IST

The indolence of the state government to tackle the ongoing power crisis in the Kashmir Valley took a political turn after separatists slammed the National Conference-Congress coalition for "least bothering about peoples' problems".

After massive public resentment over unprecedented power blackouts, it was moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who accused the government of brining darkness to Kashmir.

"It is highly unfortunate that the electricity produced in Kashmir is illuminating (other) states and cities of India," Mirwaiz said.

 "Kashmiri resources are being exploited under the garb of oppression and gun point. They (authorities) are plundering our water resources and producing 1600 MW of power. But ironically we are being asked to do with only 170 MW of power," the separatist leader said.
With a daily curtailment schedule of 10 to 15 hours, the blackout in the Valley is despite the fact that government increased the power tariffs by a staggering 65 to 78% in the past four years.

Even after a 37% increase in revenue, the Power development department (PDD) has proposed another hike of 18% this year but has failed to procure enough power from the northern grid for a scheduled and continuous power supply.   

"Earlier, we used to have dark winters. Now this government has turned our summers dark as well," Mirwaiz said.

He said that he couldn't sit silent over the issue when things were being done against the interests of Kashmiris.

For a 24-hour power supply, the state has a total power requirement of around 1500 MW at peak hours.

The state is able to provide only 1000 MW (out of which it buys 70% from the NHPC which was producing around 1560 MW of power in the state with many more projects having a capacity of around 700 MW under construction or almost complete).

Kashmir has a power generation capacity of 20,000 MW but is unable to meet its own demand owing to inefficient governments and bureaucracy.

The state has been demanding the Prime Minister to initiate the process of return of all projects set up by NHPC which have already paid back their capital with the residual price as calculated by the task force led by Dr C Rangarajan. The demand till now has not been heeded. 


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