EDITORIAL

Hollow claims mean nothing

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With continued closure of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, so many problems are staring Valley in the face. Though the administration claims that there is not much shortage of essentials here, but the situation on the ground is belying such assertions. Fact of the matter is that Valley is facing acute shortage of almost everything, including even the essential edibles.  Had the case not been so, the divisional administration would not have ordered rationing of fuel, for instance. It is not only the petrol and diesel which are in short supply, but the cooking gas is also available nowhere. People can avoid going to places in their personal cars, but they cannot avoid cooking their meals, for which a constant supply of cooking gas is a must. It is really unfortunate that the government is not able to manage even this minimum. Same is the case with edibles, including the vegetables, whose prices are touching proverbial skies and the traders are charging people at will.

Every year, as the autumn sets in here, people are made to believe that the administration and its machinery are geared up to face the coming winter. But come winter, everything simply goes haywire. This is what has been happening in the past and this season too things have been no different. A few bouts of snowfall have plunged entire Valley into chaos with shortage of essential things driving people to the top of anger mountains wherein their rage against the government is finding vent through choicest invectives.

Take the case electricity, always a cause of perennial frustration. It is already giving people a very tough time. While it has disappeared from many parts, elsewhere it is the sweet choice and will of the Power Development Department which determines when people should get supply and when they will have to be without it. Though there is some curtailment schedule in place, but very rarely is it being followed. Those sitting high up in the administrative hierarchy, as usual, resort to the 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 complaining about 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. What makes them to think that people will be interested in knowing the figurative details about the supply and demand? These are technical terms and for the common masses hold very little or no meaning. People want regular supply and for this they are ready to pay and are actually paying for. Now if the authorities are not able to supply them with electricity, it accounts for their failure and expecting people to have any sympathies for it will simply be asking for too much.

Despite boastful claims of the government and the bureaucracy, things are not showing any improvement at all. Together with the scheduled power-cuts, people have to brave unannounced power-cuts for hours together. And capping the people’s hurt is the fact that nobody from the PDD or the government ever bothers to explain it to them why they are getting such a raw deal. Similarly nobody from the administration has bothered to explain the acute shortage of cooking gas in these chilling winters. Agreed that closure of Srinagar-Jammu national highway is a cause, but isn’t it true that before the onset of winter people were told that enough LPG has already been stocked here and that there won’t be any shortage at all? Will someone from the administration bother to shed some light over the shortage and exorbitant pricing of vegetables grown here, of the mutton and poultry reared here? If they cannot do their jobs properly, they are no right to be in the ruling chairs, and still less to talk big on issues of public concern!

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