Now that the winter is over and Kashmir has started blossoming again, one bitter reality of the winter months continues to nag people – the erratic power supply. People had expected that with the advent of Spring, the power supply would better but nothing of the sort seems happening on the ground. Even on the eve of Shab-e-Meraj, the current was snapped to several Srinagar localities for hours together. The load-shedding continues unabated all over and in rural areas, the situation is worse. The pathetic electric power scenario in Jammu and Kashmir is not some new phenomena. The previous governments, despite making tall claims of making Jammu and Kashmir power surplus, failed miserably. The situation continues to be what it was decades before. It has become a norm that 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 political parties, that lash out at present dispensation for failing to provide uninterrupted power supply to the consumers of Jammu and Kashmir, should be asked that what they have done to improve the power scenario when they were on the wheel. This goes without saying that Jammu and Kashmir has tremendous hydro electric potential still in entire country this place suffers on power supply front terribly.
Since he took over as Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory, Manoj Sinha has been focussing on the power sector seriously. He has been discussing the issue regularly with the concerned agencies and setting forth a road map for improving the power scenario. Recently, the Lt Governor chaired a high level meeting of power sector experts and directed for speedy mitigation of power related issues and 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. Noting the harsh reality that in Jammu and Kashmir proposed projected never get completed within the prescribed timeline, he 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. The need is to fix deadlines for the projects and make sure that these are followed in letter and spirit. The first priority of the government should be concentrate on transmission lines. The pathetic condition of these lines does not only result into the loss of energy but also is one of the main reasons for frequent power cuts and damages to transformers. And at the same time, power generation should be the main focus and the government should ensure that projected are completed without any delays. The government need to understand that if it succeeds in supplying uninterrupted power to Jammu and Kashmir consumers, the step would undoubtedly prove to be a game-changer.