Power crisis and the care-free state administration
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.