Power crisis badly hit industrial units in IGC Lassipora

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IGC Lassipora
IGC Lassipora

SRINAGAR — The State Industrial Development Corporation (SIDCO) in Lassipora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, the biggest industrial estate in South Kashmir, is battling with a power crisis.

The Power Development Department has resorted to unscheduled power cuts from early winter, leaving unit holders high and dry.

In most parts of the Kashmir Valley including the summer capital Srinagar, power woes during the winter season cause immense inconvenience to the general public and also to the business community. The season, however, is almost over but the power crisis continues to bother unit holders particularly.

Unit holders here in Lassipora estate have complained that they face unscheduled power outages thrice a day which has badly hit their business.

Shameem Ahmad, an entrepreneur, said it is surprising that the Power Development Department has begun to cut power three times a day even when winter is over. He expressed resentment over the power outage, causing them lot of inconveniences and a business slump.

According to authorities in the Power Development Department, the department is able to deliver 1200 MW in winter months against the demand for 1600 MW to provide a round-the-clock electricity supply. The curtailment of the power supply usually takes place during the winter months every year.

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A delegation of industrialists said it is bizarre and deplorable that a power crisis is taking place inside industrial estates. The machinery worth lakhs of rupees has been spoiled due to unscheduled power cuts in the SIDCO complex Lassipora.

“We already suffered a lot due to clampdown and internet shutdowns in Kashmir Valley and now the electricity crisis is further compounding our problems,” said Mohammad Ashraf, a labourer. He added that the Power Development Department does not have any authority to curtail electricity in industrial estates.

An industry expert said unit holders were paying electricity dues properly and on time and yet PDD has resorted to power cuts. “Government had promised it would supply uninterrupted electricity to industrial areas but the current crisis has proved all these promises as a hoax,” he said.

He said that if the power curtailment persists, the business community will incur huge losses.

As per a media report, IGC Lassipora houses more than three hundred functional units. Lassipora estate has a power grid in its vicinity. It is divided into three feeders: Arihal, Pulwama and the Industrial Estate of Lassipora which SIDCO officially owns. The estate receives a share of 16 MW against its routine requirement of around 20 MW.

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Unitholders complained that PDD is not delivering even 16 MW, the minimum requirement for the estate. They demand 20 MWs to run their units efficiently.

Industrialists blame PDD for giving false assurances that once the winter is over, the power curtailments will also go. “Winter is almost over but there are still power woes, which is surprising,” said Majid Ahmad, a unit holder. He blamed that the electricity supply in the estate remains cut off from 6 PM to 10 PM.

Another unit holder Gulzar Ahmad said, “Many units have turned sick owing to many reasons mainly because of power crisis. In my vicinity, a unit holder suffered a heavy loss due to damage to his machinery. The power crisis and fluctuations had damaged his machinery worth crores. He could not bear the losses and eventually wind up the unit.”

A senior official at PDD said the power curtailments have been reduced since the beginning of March. “There will be no curtailments from now onwards,” he assured.

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