The new electricity curtailment schedule has been issued by the administration for metered and non-metered areas two days back according to which the non-metered areas face eight hours of power cut in every twenty-four hours and metered areas face 4.5 hours of power cut every day.
As per the government data, Jammu and Kashmir are producing more than 3500 megawatts of electricity through its 24 hydropower projects and the demand of the whole of Jammu and Kashmir for twenty-four hours of electricity is around the same 3500 megawatts. Officials said the demand between Jammu and Kashmir varies as per the season, In winter Kashmir needs more electricity and in the summer season Jammu needs more electricity but the overall demand remains the same around 3500 megawatts of electricity.
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Officials said that of the 24 hydropower projects 13 are being run by UT through ‘JKPDC’ Jammu and Kashmir power development corporation which produces 1197 megawatts of electricity. The ‘NHPC’ national hydropower projects own 06 projects mostly in Kashmir which generate 2250 megawatts of electricity and rest 05 power projects are being run by other public-private partnership companies which generate 57.5 megawatts of electricity.
The NHPC-owned power projects relate to the northern grid of India and the UT of Jammu and Kashmir has to purchase electricity from them to meet the demand for electric supply here.
The political parties of Jammu and Kashmir mostly regional parties like NC, PDP, Apni Party, PC etc are demanding the return of NHPC-owned power projects to Jammu and Kashmir, so the electricity is generated through the waters of Kashmir can be provided to people of UT only at cheaper rates. Otherwise currently people are paying high charges for electricity and instead of that facing power cut of eight hours during the harsh winter season when people need the electricity most.
PDP President Mehbooba Mufti has lashed upon the administration for banning electric gadgets during the winter season in Kashmir and demanded free electricity for Jammu and Kashmir. Apni party president Altaf Bukhari also while demanding the return of NHPC-owned power projects promised free electricity up to 500 units for every household in Jammu and Kashmir if they come to the power.
The UT administration has recently hiked the power tariff by 18% and issued the eight hours power cut for Kashmir valley which has created panic among the public. The people of Kashmir are facing hardship every day following the severe power crisis but at the same time felt helpless before the dictate of the administration.