Srinagar, Nov 21: Despite directives from the Principal Secretary of the Power Department to avoid unscheduled power cuts, Kashmir finds itself grappling with persistent and disruptive outages, raising concerns among businesses and residents alike.
The unscheduled power cuts have wreaked havoc on the region’s industrial sector, witnessing a staggering decline of over 70 percent in production.
The economic toll of this plaguing power crisis is evident, prompting strong criticism from business leaders who blame authorities for their failure to ensure a stable power supply.
Javid Tenga, President of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI), expressed disappointment, stating that the administration’s handling of the power crisis has derailed economic activities. Tenga pointed out the far-reaching consequences on both businesses and the health sector, citing instances of people on home oxygen suffering due to the power interruptions.
Tenga highlighted the irony of the government’s call for installing smart meters during the summer months to achieve round-the-clock supply, contrasting it with the current reality of facing 10 hours of daily power cuts even after the installation of smart meters. He emphasized the adverse impact of these cuts on the overall economy.
Shahid Kamili, President of the Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK), echoed the concerns, stating that the industrial sector has reported production losses exceeding 70 percent.
Kamili emphasised the challenging conditions during winter seasons when there are limited working hours, exacerbating problems in the absence of electricity. He warned that many industries are on the verge of becoming Non-Performing Assets due to the decline in production, making it difficult for industrialists to manage loan installments.
Aijaz Shahdhar, President of the Kashmir Traders Association (KTA), expressed dismay over the ground reality conflicting with assurances of uninterrupted power supply. Shahdhar highlighted the deteriorating quality of life in the Kashmir Valley due to exceedingly bad power supply, emphasizing the erratic nature of power availability, low voltage fluctuations, and prolonged outages affecting daily life.
Shahdhar criticised the explanation citing higher demand for power than the available supply, calling it an absurd argument. He urged authorities to take immediate steps to enhance power supplies, addressing the needs of residents and businesses alike.
Batmaloo Traders Association
Peer Imtiyaz, President of the Batmaloo Traders Association, further emphasised the persistent issue of unscheduled power cuts reaching an alarming level.
Imtiyaz outlined the severe consequences across various aspects of life, impacting businesses, education, healthcare, and overall quality of life in the Kashmir Valley.
“The lack of consistent electricity supply has resulted in significant losses in multiple sectors, leaving businesses and residents grappling with the consequences of these unplanned power cuts.”