No power: Kashmir valley freezes in darkness

Srinagar : The power situation in Kashmir Valley remained critical for the third day Sunday after two transmission lines got snapped, leaving the region plunged in darkness with just 87 MW to cater to the needs of the people.

Against the 950 MW of electric power being supplied to the valley, the availability is now a mere 87 MW after two power import transmission lines got snapped.

“After the 220 MW-Kishanpur-Pampore and 400 MW Kishanpur-Wagoora transmission lines got snapped across the Pir Panchal mountains on Friday, we have just 87 MW of power left available in the valley,” said a senior power department official who did not want to be named.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who is camping in the summer capital Srinagar to supervise the situation, has ordered shutting down of the essential power supply line to his Gupkar residence and also to that of all state ministers to spare electricity for essential services.

“We are presently supplying power to all the local hospitals, dewatering stations and water filtration plants which are part of the essential supplies,” the engineer said.

He also said that of the 87 MW of power in the valley – the Lower Jhelum power project generated 27, Uri power project 40 and the gas turbine 20 MW.

“The power generation capacity of the NHPC-owned Uri power project is likely to go up from the present 40 to 110 MW by this evening after the second generation unit is started there,” the engineer said.

To provide some relief to people living in the old city area, the authorities have charged two power receiving units in the old Srinagar city on rotational basis.

The rest of the valley including all other cities, towns and villages continued to remain in complete darkness for the third day Sunday and authorities moved power restoration parties over the snow-bound Pir Panchal mountain range to restore at least one of the two vital power import transmission lines.

“We are presently tring to restore the 220 Kishanpur-Pampore line after which we will try to restore the 400 MW Kishanpur-Wagoora line,” the official said.

Meanwhile, there was no internet connectivity in Srinagar again Sunday – cutting it off virtually from the rest of the world for the third day Sunday.

The power crunch has added to the woes of the people with the mercury continued to dip. The minimum in Srinagar Sunday was a freezing minus 5.5 degrees Celsius — the season’s lowest so far.

Due to the extreme cold, water taps in most areas of Srinagar were frozen in the morning. The Dal Lake was frozen at many places too.

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