Srinagar, Dec 10: Unprecedented load shedding and unscheduled power cuts in Kashmir region this winter are leaving a devastating impact on the region’s business and industry.
Business observers estimate that Kashmir region’s economic output and productivity must be witnessing a drop between 35-40 % if the cumulative effect of the scheduled and unscheduled power cuts is taken into account across manufacturing, services and agriculture sectors. That productivity loss is likely to translate into a major dent into the state’s Gross Domestic Product, if the basic ripple effect is taken into consideration, experts believe.
Chief Engineer, Kashmir Power Development Corporation Limited, Ajaz Ahmad Dar, told Ziraat Times that against a unrestricted demand of 3000 mega watts of electricity, the current supply capacity is only 1750 mega watts.
Economic and energy experts do not see this demand hike as something unusual. “With the onset of winter in Jammu and Kashmir, energy demand goes up because there are barely any alternative energy sources. And the demand is a sum total of demand from domestic, commercial, government establishments and the visitor population visiting the J&K”, an energy expert said.
But how do the business and industry leaders of J&K see the current energy scenario? Ziraat Times engaged with business and industry leaders across both Kashmir and Jammu regions to understand the impact of this crisis on economic activities. Here is what they had to say:
Mushtaq Chaya – Chairman Jammu & Kashmir Hoteliers Club
Shahid Kamili – President, Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK)
Showkat Chowdhary – Chairman, Jammu & Kashmir Hotels and Restaurants Association (JKHARA)
Rahul Sahai – Prominent businessman and Chairman, PHDCCI, Jammu chapter
In Jammu division, industrial areas and hoteliers are receiving power as per schedule. But there is a problem in residential areas where power cuts are unscheduled and last for hours together.
Tariq Rashid Ghani – President, Chamber of Commerce and Industries Kashmir (CCIK)
Most of the residential areas in Kashmir, especially in the downtown area, are reeling under darkness for longer duration bringing them lot of inconveniences. Traders and young entrepreneurs, who aspire to do business, are also in a bad situation due to unscheduled and longer power cuts.Many young entrepreneurs who can’t afford backup of power supply through inverters and batteries are facing losses as they are not able to do their jobs without electricity. For a good business ecosystem, uninterrupted power supply is a basic requirement. We appeal to the LG administration for the round-the-clock power supply so that both households and business units can function normally.