As the autumn sets in here in the Valley, people are made to believe that the administration and its machinery are geared up to face the coming winter. But once the actual winter sets in, everything goes haywire. This is what has been happening in the past and this season too things seem no different. This winter Kashmir witnessed untimely snowfall in the first week of November. On one hand the snowfall impacted horticulture sector badly destroying apple and orchards and on the other hand the administration failed to cop up with the emergency. Entire Valley had to face acute shortage of electricity and drinking water for a few days. That time the “untimely snowfall” was the excuse forwarded by the administration to hide its inefficiency. However, this excuse can’t be used now as this is the month when everyone expects snowfall. But again the snowfall has plunged entire Valley into chaos.
The electricity has already disappeared from most parts of the Valley and the Government, on its part, seated comfortably in the warm and cozy environs of winter capital, as the precedence has been, is resorting resort to token lip-service without actually doing much to alleviate peoples’ problems.
Not a single day passes without people of some or the other locality in Srinagar as well as in the countryside taking to streets to protest the non-availability of electricity. Even though the situation on the power front has perennially remained precarious here, the concerned authorities have confined themselves to explaining that the available supply is too feeble against the mammoth demand. The fresh snowfall has added to the peoples’ woes particularly in rural areas which have been left without electric supply.
People want regular power supply and for this they are ready to pay and they have actually been paying. In fact the biggest defaulters when it comes to paying the power tariffs are the government agencies themselves. If the government is unable to realize tariffs from its various departments and some Central agencies, why should common people suffer? Expecting people to have sympathies for the government for its inability to supply them with the power is simply asking for too much.
Few years back when government began installing new digital electricity meters in the Valley, people were told that once the process is completed, they will be getting an uninterrupted supply of electricity. However, today when most of the areas in the Valley are metered, the supply situation of electricity continues to remain as problematic as it has always been. And if one takes into account the situation in the countryside, then it goes without saying that in the rural areas the people are made to go without electricity for days together. In fact while this editorial is being penned down, the telephone is continuously ringing with people from far and wide all across the Valley complaining that they are without electricity. The Governor Administration needs to have a first-hand feel of the situation on ground. It should move out of cozy chambers and see for itself what the commoners are facing.