People, businesses protest ‘worst-ever’ power, water crisis in Jammu
Jammu: Irked by unscheduled power cuts and shortage of drinking water, people on Tuesday staged protests in different parts of the city with Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) warning that the consumers will stop paying bills if the crisis is not resolved forthwith.
The industrialists also expressed grave concern over the alleged failure of the administration to provide electricity to the industrial estates and said the unit holders are planning to go for single shift work which might lead to retrenchment of the staff.
“Over the past 10 days, we are faced with the worst-ever electricity and water crisis contrary to the repeated assurances by the administration…people are approaching us and are contemplating to stop paying their bills which is a right decision given the situation,” JCCI president Arun Gupta told reporters here.
Gupta, who was also flanked by president Bari Brahmana Industrial Association Lalit Mahajan and office bearers of the JCCI, urged Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to take all possible steps to provide round-the-clock power supply to bail out industry and common households from the crisis.
Mahjan said the power crisis has caused huge losses to the unit holders.
“In view of the unscheduled power cuts, the industrialists are planning to go for single shift work which will lead to retrenchment of the staff at a time when unemployment is on rise,” he said.
Suggesting the administration to go for purchase of power like the governments in the past to overcome the crisis, the JCCI president said the silence of the administration over the crisis is beyond the tolerance of the people who are reeling under rising mercury.
Earlier, a group of Shiv Sena Dogra Front activists led by its president Ashok Gupta staged a protest in the heart of the city to protest against the power and water crisis.
Carrying empty utensils and buckets, the protesters chanted slogans in support of the demand for uninterrupted power and water supply.
“The situation is very bad due to unscheduled power cuts and non-availability of water,” Gupta said, requesting personal intervention of the LG to provide relief to the public.
Protests against water and electricity departments were also reported from over a dozen places in the city including Talab Tillo, Sidhra, Janipur, Trikuta Nagar and Paloda.
The protesters briefly blocked the roads demanding restoration of water supply and an end to unscheduled power cuts.
“We have raised the issue of acute water shortage with the concerned department time and again but no action is being taken which is very unfortunate,” a resident of Waliabad locality of Sidhra said.
Jammu Mayor Chander Mohan Gupta said the first priority of the corporation is to ensure uninterrupted power and water supply to the consumers.
“We are aware of the problems and are making steps… As far as the water crisis are concerned, the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) will work with the Public Health Engineering department to ensure water supply to every household in the city,” he said.
“There are shortcomings which are being taken care of. Lakhs of gallons of water is leaked and wasted, while the water lifting pumps have not been upgraded for the past two decades,” he said, adding the corporation will work overtime to fulfill the dream of ‘har ghar nal ka jal’ as envisioned by the prime minister.
Even as the Power department is out of the ambit of the corporation, Gupta said he will not hesitate to reach out to the union ministry of power to request for additional supply to overcome the present crisis.
“We will take up the issue with the Lt Governor and the concerned department as the power supply is required to lift water and provide it to the consumers,” he said.
Apni Party activists led by Jammu provincial president Manjit Singh staged a protest demonstration outside the PDD Chief Engineer’s office here against the unscheduled curtailment of the electricity.
“As the electricity supply has remained irregular with eight hours long power cuts, the water supply, industrial sector and farmers and other sectors have adversely affected,” Singh said.
He appealed to the administration to take immediate corrective measures to supply adequate electricity to the consumers.