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J&K snowfall: Power outages across Kashmir; roads and airways affected

J&K snowfall: Power outages across Kashmir; roads and airways affected
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Srinagar: Unprecedented power outages plunged the Kashmir Valley into darkness, with authorities on Sunday blaming Saturday's heavy snowfall for the disruption.

The valley witnessed snowfall in November for the first time since 2009.

Chief engineer electric maintenance Kashmir, Hashmat Qazi said the power outage was caused by the breakdown of vital supply lines due to the fall of foliage laden branches on the supply lines.

"Due to disruption of transmission lines, our supply has come down to 80 megawatts instead of the usual 1300 megawatts of routine supply," Qazi said.

He added that the entire workforce of the power development department is working on the restoration of the transmission lines and grid stations.

"We are facing near full power outage, but efforts are on to restore the electricity supply at the earliest. Against a normal transmission of nearly 1,200 MW, the system can transmit only 80 MW due to the damage to transmission lines caused by the snowfall," an official of the divisional administration said here.

He said breaking of trees has resulted in supply wires getting snapped at dozens of places while heavy foliage hanging over the transmission lines had made it unsafe for the restoration of electricity.

"More than 7,000 employees of PDD are being assisted by other departments to clear the obstructions and repair the lines so that electricity is restored on a war footing," the official said.

Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Abid Rasheed Shah said electricity had been restored in several parts of the city while the work was in progress to restore regular supply in the remaining parts.

Worsening the scenario in the valley, Surface links between Kashmir and the rest of the country remained cut off for the second day Sunday due to heavy snowfall in the Valley which has caused a massive power outage, officials said. The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway is closed for vehicular traffic due to heavy snowfall Saturday which has rendered the road unsafe, an official of the Traffic Control department said.

A police spokesperson said more than 300 passengers, including tourists, who were stranded on the 294-km road due to snowfall, were evacuated to safety in a night-long operation.

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