Connect with us

Editorial

Power crisis and the care-free state administration

The Kashmir Monitor

Published

on

IST


It is business as usual. Your shrieks and shrills do hardy matter. The men in power are little moved by the problems you face. They go by pro forma — designed and devised decades ago. As the people in the valley are facing a crisis of sorts due to lack of electricity, the ‘never-mind’ policy of the administrators is the only answer they get in response. It is nobody’s concern if people reel under darkness and industries suffer losses. The louder you cry, the quieter you find the administration. The unscheduled load-shedding and prolonged power cuts that started with a recent snowfall have left the entire valley under huge dark cover. Most parts of the valley including capital Srinagar are virtually reeling under darkness, notwithstanding the claims of the state administrations. The situation is alike in metered and non-metered areas. The worst of it is that there is no proper schedule for power cuts. It is the will of the grid operator that determines the load-shedding schedule. It can be any hour of the day or night, and for any duration. Though it is yearly phenomenon beginning with the movement of civil secretariat from Srinagar to Jammu, it got further deteriorated since the last week’s snowfall. Power Development Department though did a commendable job of restoring and repairing the transmission lines without delay but the restoration of electricity is still wanted.

The power supply is stopped after every hour for two to three hours, and sometimes even longer durations. Sometimes the electricity goes just within 10 or 20 minutes of its restoration. The situation is alike in metered and non-metered areas. In the past 24 hours, the uptown areas of the city have witnessed almost 14-hour cut in different stints. The situation is worse outside the city. In rural areas the power supply is not just erratic but is not visible even for days. Budgam, Shopian, Kupwara, Pulwama and Kulgam district are worst hit. In upper reach village in these districts electricity eludes for days together. Reports from valley upper reaches and highland localities say that since the snowfall, these areas are yet to see the first glimpse of the electricity. The non-availability of electricity has badly hit commercial sector. The industrial units all across the valley remains shut for most of the time bringing a halt in commercial activity. The shops and business establishments in Srinagar and all other major towns too have to bring down their shutters early in the evening as power supply remains shut on most occasions. There have been protests against PDD and government in some areas but these have gone unheard.

With the winter casting its shadows ferociously on Kashmir, the darkness in coming days is likely to increase. The government, as usual, is little concerned about the power crisis in the valley. It goes without saying that the people of the valley have been taken for ride by the government and its wings. They care little about the sufferings and problems of the valley people. The indifference of the government to the problems of common people is in no way in the interest of the state. Just to remind the government that it was the power crisis in 1988 that gave rise to peoples’ anger of late 80s. It is time for the authorities to take note of peoples’ problems and take measures before the situation would take an ugly turn. It would not be going overboard to suggest that the problems in Kashmir owe their existence to the insensitivity and indifference on the matters of immediate concern by the state administration. It is very unfortunate that instead of attending to the problems of the people, the administration has set on a six-moth sojourn to the warm climate of Jammu leaving people of the valley to mend for themselves.


The Kashmir Monitor is the fastest growing newspaper as well as digitial platform covering news from all angles.

Advertisement
Loading...
Comments

Editorial

The worsening situation and carefree establishment

The Kashmir Monitor

Published

on

Blood continues to be splattered in Kashmir streets.  Over the past some time hardly a day passes when deaths are not reported from one or the other part of the valley. Over the past one 20 people have died in different incidents of violence. Though majority of them are militants but civilians do also form a fair share of these deaths. The killing of a senior functionary of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Hafizullah Mir in south Kashmir’s Achabal area is quite a high profile of these killings. Mir, the district president of the Tehreek, was gunned down outside his house at Badru-Akingam on Tuesday morning. He was recently released from jail after two years of imprisonment under Public Safety Act for leading post-Burhan Wani street rebellion in his area. The same day four militants and an army soldier were killed in a fierce clash at Nadigam in Shopian district. Two civilians were done to death by militants for being “informers” of security forces. Since these are not isolated incidents but a continuous process for the last three decades, human deaths have become a normal business in Kashmir. It is the bereavement for all. If today it is in some part of south Kashmir, tomorrow it could anywhere in central or north Kashmir. There is no time table or calendar for these uncontrolled deaths. Of course, south Kashmir is the worst affected. The gruesome incident has shocked the entire valley and people are fuming under rage and anger. When Governor’s rule was imposed in the state, after the un-ceremonial exit of Mahbooba Mufti, direct threats to Kashmiri people were issued through studio discussions on different TV channels. In one of the debates on India’s most rabid news channels where retired army generals mostly express their opinions was said “aik aik ko mariege, chun chun kar marienge”. They projected Governor’s rule as that of martial law which is a serious reflection on the Governor itself. It is not going overboard to say that central government’s power-driven policy is making peace a difficult proposition in Kashmir. One had thought that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would pick up threads from where his ‘guru’ Atal Bihari Vajpayee had left. Vajpayee, for all his initiatives, was a man of peace. Despite extreme provocations, he never shut the doors of dialogue, neither even with Pakistan nor with the Hurriyat. In fact, he was the first Prime Minister to have initiated dialogue with Hurriyat Conference. The Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat Conference held two rounds of talks with Vajpyee’s deputy L K Advani in January and March 2004. Vajpayee’s dialogue mantra continued with Pakistan despite war in Kargil. After Vajpayee, Congress Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh also followed the policy of dialogue.

 

Hurriyat leaders, barring Syed Ali Geelani, held several rounds of talks with Manmohan Singh. He even allowed Hurriyat leaders to travel to Pakistan to hold talks with Pakistani leadership (then President Gen Musharaf). Though nothing concrete happened in resolving the issue but one could, at least, feel and experience peace on the ground. In the past three decades Kashmir had never been as peaceful as then. There had, also, been occasions (as claimed by former Pakistan foreign minister Khursheed Kasuri) when chances of resolution of the conflict had become real. The immediate effect of Vajpayee’s moves was restoration of peace on borders with Pakistan. A ceasefire was agreed upon between the two countries which quite religiously observed till recent past. It was after advent of Modi as Prime Minister of India that things began to move in reverse direction.  The daily deaths are indicative of what is in store for future in Kashmir. The absence of statesman like Vajpyee is highly felt in New Delhi. Vajpyee would never fall to any false propaganda, either raised by media or people in his own establishment. He would not mind going against the wind. The present dispensation is not even a pale shadow of Vajpayee. The disastrous about the present government policy (foreign as also internal) is formulated in TV studios. Prime Minister Modi has to rethink this policy. His hard-line stance might be benefitting his party electorally but it is having adverse effect on India’s image world over.

Continue Reading

Editorial

Power out, Admin nowhere

The Kashmir Monitor

Published

on

Weeks after a massive snowfall disrupted essential services in Kashmir, electricity outages continue to be major issue in both urban and rural areas in the valley even as the Power Development Department (PDD) is yet to devise any uniform curtailment schedule. The situation continues in contrast to Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam directing the PDD last month to ensure the valley does not face any electricity issues.

Central, South and North Kashmir areas including several localities of the summer capital are reeling under darkness with PDD resorting to unannounced power cuts in both metered and non-metered areas.

.As the people in the valley are facing a crisis of sorts due to lack of electricity, the ‘never-mind’ policy of the administrators is the only answer they get in response. It is nobody’s concern if people reel under darkness and industries suffer losses.

The louder you cry, the quieter you find the administration. The unscheduled load-shedding and prolonged power cuts that started with a recent snowfall have left the entire valley under huge dark cover. The situation is alike in metered and non-metered areas. The worst of it is that there is no proper schedule for power cuts. It is the will of the grid operator that determines the load-shedding schedule. It can be any hour of the day or night, and for any duration. Though it is yearly phenomenon beginning with the movement of civil secretariat from Srinagar to Jammu, it got further deteriorated since the last week’s snowfall. Power Development Department though did a commendable job of restoring and repairing the transmission lines without delay but the restoration of electricity is still wanted.

The situation is worse outside the city. In rural areas the power supply is not just erratic but is not visible even for days. Budgam, Shopian, Kupwara, Pulwama and Kulgam district are worst hit. In upper reach village in these districts electricity eludes for days together.

With the winter casting its shadows ferociously on Kashmir, the darkness in coming days is likely to increase. The government, as usual, is little concerned about the power crisis in the valley. It goes without saying that the people of the valley have been taken for ride by the government and its wings. They care little about the sufferings and problems of the valley people.

The indifference of the government to the problems of common people is in no way in the interest of the state. Just to remind the government that it was the power crisis in 1988 that gave rise to peoples’ anger of late 80s. It is time for the authorities to take note of peoples’ problems and take measures before the situation would take an ugly turn. It would not be going overboard to suggest that the problems in Kashmir owe their existence to the insensitivity and indifference on the matters of immediate concern by the state administration. It is very unfortunate that instead of attending to the problems of the people, the administration has set on a six-moth sojourn to the warm climate of Jammu leaving people of the valley to mend for themselves.

Continue Reading

Editorial

Past Continuous

The Kashmir Monitor

Published

on

With BJP and its Hindutva allies’ pitch for raising Ram Temple at Babri Mosque site, India is limping back to 1990s situation when Hindu extremist brigades attacked the 500-year old mosque to make ground for Ram temple. Though the case is in the Supreme Court but the BJP, through media and other public media has launched a huge campaign to attract the attention for the temple building. As the BJP leaders are pushing for a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya through legislation, the Bajrang Dal is all set to recruit 25,000 volunteers for a movement to be launched in Ayodhya. Bholendra, the secretary of Awadh region in the VHP said, “The Bajrang Dal will be recruiting 25,000 volunteers by December 18 and events are already being organised in 100 locations in the Awadh region. These volunteers will be ready to march to Ayodhya anytime for Ram mandir construction on the orders of the top saints.” The BJP and its allies led by senior Hindutwa leaders L K Advani, Umma Bharti and Murli Manohar Joshi conducted a similar march in 1992 that resulted in the demolition of the mosque. The demolition of the mosque was followed by a bloody campaign against Muslims across many states, mostly in Maharshtra where 3000 Muslims were massacred by Hindu extremists. Media’s unconditional and unprofessional support to the Hindu extremists can be understood from the fact that the opponents of the move are openly questioned on the issue of their faith. The Hindutva brigade has no respect for the court as is evident from their din on the mosque-temple dispute. They have already refused to accept the Supreme Court decision on Sabarimala issue. This is the brute display of the majoritarian mindset undermining the rule of law—a dangerous edge that the country is being pushed to.

Much to the thrill of the BJP, the media, more particularly TV news channels, are following the Hindutva agenda quite religiously. The Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir dispute is a subject of prime time discussion of almost all news channels—both Hindi and English—on daily or alternate basis ever since assembly elections for five states were announced. It goes without saying that Ram Temple is a political slogan for the BJP to garner support in elections. It is the Ram Temple movement that saw BJP’s rise to power in 90s. However, the slogan had lost steam since its expulsion from power in 2004. It is for this fact that the party fought 2014 general elections on development and corruption issues. But having utterly failed on its promises of development and freeing country from the corruption, the BJP has fallen back upon the Ram Temple mantra. The BJP foot soldiers in the media are questioning publicly the faith of the people who dare to question the Hindutva forces. This new-found aggressiveness is to the fore unmistakably, a typical reminder that in the uocoming general elections the emotive issues would be exploited to the fullest extent by the Hindu extremist brigade. Last month, RSS chief Moham Bhagwat, at the customary Vijayadashmi address at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur, came out with a newly invented demand urging the Narendra Modi government to bring in a law for the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site which is under litigation for long. It reflected a new line of going over the head of the apex court to reach out to the Hindus regardless of what the court may rule. “Mandir Wahien Banega” is the latest slogan of the party. Many a keen observers believe that by linking faith with the “Mandir Wahien Banega” slogan, the BJP-led Ram campaign is aimed at influencing the Supreme Court as well where Hindu judges are hearing the case. This is merely an election game which the people should understand. The sane elements need to join together to save the country from sacrificing it at the altar of power politics.

Continue Reading