Long and frequent power cuts loom large this winter. Complaints of erratic power cuts have already started to pour in from different parts. The widening supply-demand gap coupled withsteep decline in local power generation is bound to reflect in the familiar power crisis in the valley. The government often attributes erratic power cuts and tough curtailment schedule to the “irresponsible” usage of electricity by people. Ironically, the government and semi-government departments remain the biggest defaulters. To realize the outstanding dues from government and semi-government departments,government often says that defaulter government departments are under notice to clear the arrears. As of now the government has not been able to act tough against these defaulters and recover the power arrears. Power pilferage is a major cause of concern for the power department.Despite the restrictions regarding overdrawal purchases, the power department is sometimes forced to purchase additional electricity to meet the local requirement. To minimize the power thefts, the department had decided to cover/remove the power cables close to the doors and windows of consumers. Removing cables close to the houses of people may help the department to control power pilferage to a significant extent.It remains to be seen whether the department will be able to do so or not.There is a dire need for power reforms to bridge the gap between availability and consumption of electricity, and establish a dependable power distribution system in Jammu and Kashmir. The realization of revenue in consonance with the supply of energy is important in view of the huge gap between the supply of energy to the consumers and collection of power tariff. There is also an urgent need for implementation of various measures to upgrade the distribution and transmission system from HT to LT levels. The government needs to work on all these fronts to address the electricity problems. It should also ensure timely completion of various grid stations and other power projects to cope up with the energy demands in the state. We keep hearing that the government has flagged power sector as one of the most important concerns and it is keen to transform the power generation scenario from deficit status to the self-reliant one. To meet these claims, the government must ensure fast tracking power generation schemes in Jammu and Kashmir. With the power situation likely to worsen in winter, government should frame a special plan to meet any eventuality.People on their part must use electricity judiciously without resorting to violations like hooking, meter tempering and wire tempering.