At a time when harsh wintry conditions intensified with heavy snowfall gripped entire Jammu and Kashmir, the power crisis is increasing as the electricity generation has gone down drastically, Jammu is in dark and the cold desert region of Ladakh has virtually forgotten what electricity is.
For the last month or so past more than one month Kashmir valley has been crying for the power crisis, the situation in Leh, Kargil, Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajouri and Poonch is going from bad to worse
For the past two days, these areas are reeling without any power but government is not paying any attention towards them.
To address power crisis in valley, chief minister Omar Abdullah along minister of state for power Shabir Khan started gas turbines to provide break free electricity to the valley where the power supply was 850 MWs and increased it to 100 MWs .
But the government has forgotten about areas like Leh an Kargil where the temperature goes down to minus 20 and living without electricity in those areas is next to impossible.
The power scenario in Ladakh is worst.
“We are using the distributed generation (DG) sets provided by Army under operation Sadhbhavana to generate electricity but no support from government like what they did in valley,’ said Rigzin Spalbar, Chief Executive Council (CEC) Ladakh Hill Development Council told Hindustan Times.
Similarly areas in Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajouri and Poonch districts snowfall has disturbed the power supply and people are reeling under extreme cold conditions. But there are no efforts on record from government to address power crisis.
The Chenab River which flows through Doda and Ramban districts is the main sources of power generation in the state and mega power projects like Baghliar, Dul Hasti and Salal powers projects run on Chenab water. But Chenab region of the state gets minimal share of electricity in the state.
“No body listen our grievances. We are being treated as poor cousins despite the fact that Doda provides giant share of electricity generation. But what do we get in response; nothing,” said Asim Hashmi, a senior criminal lawyer of Doda said.
For whole district Doda, only 40 MVA grid station is managing power supply where the need is around 100 MVA. Despite repeated requests, government is not taking any step to address the issue.
Through Omar Abdullah’s tweets, it is evident that he is only concerned about situation in valley but not about other areas.
Commenting on the snapped power supply to valley, Omar, who is also the Power minister, wrote on social-networking site twitter, “Heavy snowfall, coupled with high velocity winds & lightening has knocked out some vital transmission lines. Repair hampered by snow.”
“Trying to get the system to accept Uri power in "isolation mode" but the frequency is tripping the system. Work on it continues,” Omar wrote.
Such is his concern about valley only that in another tweet he talked about transmission line to valley which passes through Ramban district but not mentioning the situation in Ramban and Banihal.
“Lines are down near Chandrakote, Banihal & Wanpoo. Chopper on stand by to fly system engineers as soon as weather allows,” Omar further wrote.
Tweeting from Omar Abdullah continued but focusing only about valley.
Omar wrote, “Lastly, feeding Lower Jehlum to hospitals & communication centres, Gas Turbines tripping because of snow on lines so that is priority now.”
His concern about valley is increasing every passing minute and now he is waiting for snow clearance at Srinagar airport so that he could fly to Srinagar and asses the situation on ground.
“Waiting for the runway to open in Srinagar so I can fly in from Jammu with a team of officers to monitor the situation on the ground.”
Even Omar’s deputy in power department is not aware about the situation in Ladakh region.
“DG system is put in place in Ladakh but since morning I haven’t got the information about situation in Leh and Kargil but I am trying,” Shabir Khan, MoS power told Hindustan Times.