Power Woes in Kashmir

Power Woes Mount in Kashmir: Struggling with the Highest Interruptions Nationwide

Kashmir, known for its picturesque landscapes, is grappling with a less scenic reality as it bears the brunt of the highest number of power interruptions across India. The National Power Portal’s recent data sheds light on the dismal performance of the Kashmir Power Development Corporation Limited (KPDCL), revealing an alarming frequency and duration of power interruptions in the region. As the winter sets in, exacerbating the power demand, Kashmir finds itself in the throes of a significant energy crisis.


Power Interruptions Statistics:


The National Power Portal data for September paints a grim picture, indicating that KPDCL recorded an average of 80.49 power interruptions, with durations extending to 105.32 hours. These figures position KPDCL as the poorest performer among power distribution companies (discoms) in the country. The stark reality is that Kashmir Valley experiences power cuts equivalent to an entire month annually, severely impacting the daily lives of its residents.


Disconcerting Disparity:


Comparing KPDCL’s performance against national averages reveals a disconcerting disparity. The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) data for 2022 illustrates a System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) of 889 and a System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) of 723.95 for KPDCL. In contrast, the national averages stand significantly lower at 116.12 for SAIDI and 171.64 for SAIFI. These indices are pivotal in evaluating power system performance, indicating that Kashmir faces persistent power cuts, hindering efforts to establish a reliable electricity supply.


Challenges in Winter:


The onset of winter intensifies the challenges for KPDCL. As power demand surges with dropping temperatures, the supply struggles to meet the escalating needs. Residents, already grappling with a fragile power infrastructure, face the harsh reality of prolonged and frequent power outages during the colder months.


Root Causes and Concerns:


A senior official from KPDCL acknowledges the elevated SAIFI and SAIDI values as indicative of persistent power cuts. The ongoing power crisis is further complicated by reduced power purchases and allegations of power pilferage. These challenges raise concerns about the reliability of the power infrastructure in the region, prompting stakeholders to call for urgent measures to address the root causes of interruptions and ensure a stable power supply.


Urgent Measures Needed:


Stakeholders, including residents and experts, emphasize the need for immediate and decisive measures to tackle the power crisis in Kashmir. Addressing issues related to power purchases, curbing pilferage, and fortifying the existing infrastructure are seen as urgent steps to ensure a reliable and stable power supply. As the winter months settle in, these measures become critical to safeguard the well-being and comfort of Kashmir’s residents, who depend on a consistent power supply for their daily lives.

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