Focus on what’s achievable
When Centre announced its decision of scraping Article 370 to end the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, and split the state into two union territories, it was reasoned that the decision was necessitated by the lack of progress and development in the erstwhile state. People were subsequently lured into believing that under the new scheme of things, they will witness progress by leaps and bounds -- that the public welfare will be prioritized like never before, and that the health and work culture of every single sector will improve dramatically.
While it remains to be seen if and when all the claims of increased progress and development that have been made, and are still being made with same loudness, will be realized, one prominent sector which has not created a healthy template for the government’s promises is the power sector. People, it goes without saying, are ragged big time by a really miserable power situation. In fact this time around the situation is so pathetic that one could say without any fear of contradiction that it was never as bad as it is now. And this is a very sorry reflection on the official claims which are being made vis-à-vis prioritizing people’s welfare and comfort.
Now see every three-and-half hours of power supply is regularly followed by two-four hour cuts. Though there is nothing new in power curtailment here, which has all along been endemic to Kashmir, but what is really disconcerting is that the power supply rarely follows the notified schedules. Instead it comes and goes at someone else’s will, and obviously this brings in a lot of confusion into people’s lives, which like elsewhere are overly dependent on electricity. Now if this is the situation in the city, it should not be difficult to imagine the conditions in the countryside.
But certainly no one in the administration seems bothered to at least explain to the people as to why is it that this winter the situation has gone from bad to worse. Instead what people are treated to is an unceasing chorus of promises of progress and development, which actually is visible nowhere on the ground. Recently people of the Valley were told that by November 2020 they will see a sea change in the situation in terms of infrastructural development as scores of projects will be completed by then. Nobody again bothered to inform as to which are these projects which are going to be completed in next seven months. At a place known for almost every single project missing successive completion deadlines, people’s intellect and common sense are certainly hard-pressed to locate these projects which are tipped to change developmental landscape of the place in seven months time. By the way, the Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover despite having been thrown open for traffic is nowhere near completion. It still needs a lot of work, which one could understand couldn’t be undertaken as political situation in the aftermath of August 05 last year and subsequent winters wouldn’t allow it. So instead of making new promises about invisible things, it would be better for the administration to invest their attention and focus on reaching the visible ‘achievables’. Correcting the bad power situation could certainly be a very attractive take-off point.