Electricity back in Kashmir after heavy snowfall

Srinagar: Power supply was restored on Sunday to 90 percent of Srinagar city and most rural areas of the Kashmir Valley after overnight heavy snowfall damaged transmission towers and snapped surface and air links with the rest of India.

After an unprecedented Valley-wide breakdown, electricity supply was restored in 90 percent areas of Srinagar and in nearly 70 percent rural areas, officials said.

Hashmat Qazi, the Chief Engineer (Electric Maintenance) of Kashmir, said electricity supply would be restored everywhere within hours.

“Due to transmission failures, our supply was on Saturday cut down to just 80MW. On Sunday we are supplying around 1,000MW. We are facing problems in south Kashmir areas where some of our transmission towers have been damaged. This will take a day or two for complete restoration.”

After Saturday’s snowfall, the Valley was plunged into darkness, affecting even Srinagar’s major hospitals.

It was the first time the Valley got snow in November since 2009.

Qazi said falling trees also disrupted power supply lines.

Air and surface links between the Valley and the rest of the country remained suspended.

Poor visibility forced suspension of all flights from the Srinagar airport since Saturday afternoon while heavy snowfall in the Jawahar Tunnel area closed the Srinagar-Jammu highway.

Snowfall also hit the Srinagar-Leh highway and the Mughal Road that connect the Valley with the Ladakh region and Jammu region’s Rajouri district.

Traffic within the Kashmir Valley too was affected as snow piled up on the roads, making them slippery.

Authorities said nearly 500 people caught in heavy snowfall in Peer Ki Gali on the Mughal Road and the Jawahar Tunnel area of Srinagar-Jammu highway had been rescued.