Focusing on the power sector
While chairing 3rd high level meeting of power sector experts to revamp power supply in J&K, the Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha has directed for speedy mitigation of power related issues and has asked the concerned authorities to remove the bottlenecks that impede timely completion of augmentation and restoration works of various power projects. He has directed the concerned officers to increase the pace of works undertaken. Talking tough, Lt Governor took a strong note of the delays in tendering and awarding of projects and directed the concerned officers to fix responsibility and take strict action for the non-compliances and initiate an inquiry in the erring matters and submit the report at the earliest. In order to speed up the works on different power projects, the Lt Governor directed the concerned to come up with a policy framework for procurement of spares and inventory, and directed them to conduct an auction of the scrap and discarded items.
Following the directions and observations of the Lt Governor, one would expect the concerned agencies to pull their socks and get ready to tackle with the chronic electric power crisis that impacts every aspect of life in Jammu and Kashmir. During chilly winters, Kashmir division suffers as the power supply gets badly impacted and during hot winters, Jammu division suffers on the same account. The chronic electric power scenario in Jammu and Kashmir is not some new phenomena. The previous governments, be those of Congress, NC, PDP or BJP have failed the people of the Jammu and Kashmir on this front. When the same very political parties today talk about power shortage, it makes people laugh. For once, these parties need to admit their follies. At different phases of 73 years, they have been here in the driving seat but did nothing to make Jammu and Kashmir power surplus despite the fact that it had tremendous hydro electric potential. Even after 73 years of independence, Kashmir Valley suffers each winter on the electric power front and Jammu division suffers during summers. These parties, while ruling the erstwhile state, could not even ensure proper transmission lines and even today one sees, in several rural areas, these lines hanging on the branches of trees. People of J&K have been failed by those who ruled them time and again so when the present dispensation makes claims of making J&K power surplus, people take such claims with a pinch of salt.
Now that the present dispensation has been seriously taking up the issue, let us hope that the process of making J&K power surplus is put into motion. The need is to fix deadlines and make it sure that these are followed in letter and spirit. Those companies or government agencies who fail to complete their respective projects within the given timeframe should be made accountable and action should be taken against the. The work culture in Jammu and Kashmir has always been lousy. The present dispensation would do a great service to the people here if it succeeds in making the concerned agencies work with dedication and efficiency.