Preparing for winters

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Though it is yet autumn but the winter has signaled its arrival with upper reaches here receiving snowfall and mercury nose-diving freezing the people residing in the winter zones of Jammu and Kashmir. Snowfall, particularly the first one, is celebrated in entire world but here in Kashmir it adds to the worries of commoners for umpteenth reasons. While in rest of the world, people, living at places where it snows, greet each other on the first snowfall, here in Kashmir the common expression is Tawnas Lae’g (we are cursed). It may sound melodramatic, particularly when run as an editorial in a newspaper, but it is what it is. For people of Kashmir Valley and other areas of the UT’s winter zone, with the first snowfall, begins the battle for survival. Though, those living in the urban areas are slightly better positioned, the rural populace faces traumas that are taxing and troubling.

Winter in Kashmir is beautiful, no doubt about it. But the life of the ordinary citizens, during winters, is anything but beautiful. The major cause of concern during winters has all along been the regular supply of electricity. Though the UT administration claims to have improved on the front and, of course, some improvement was witnessed during last winter, the current electric power supply scenario doesn’t look much promising. Even if it is still autumn, in rural areas, the electric power supply is one of the main issues. In villages, even during summers and autumn, frequent and unannounced power cuts are witnessed. The power supply is cut off frequently for hours together without the concerned authorities explaining the reasons behind such cuts. Another main issue during winters is that of drinking water. In freezing mercury, the entire Valley faces acute drinking water shortage. Like the power supply, the water supply also becomes the worst hit.

Kashmir is not the only place in the world that receives snowfall during winters and witnesses temperature below zero, but this, probably, is the only such place where life turns topsy-turvy. One wonders, why the governments, that be, have not ever thought about laying down underground transmission lines to ensure that the snowfall doesn’t broke down the cables thus impacting the power supply. Besides, in the modern world, why the departments who are supposed to ensure water supply to the populace haven’t devised the mechanism to ensure that the supply continues no matter how the weather is behaving.

Now that the UT government has been ensuring, day in and day out, that things in the UT have taken a positive direction, let the authorities ensure that people here get uninterrupted power and water supply during coming winter. Besides, the administrations need to walk the extra mile to ensure that the snowfall doesn’t impact the surface communication. If the administration succeeds in ensuring these three, people will get benefitted in a big day and thus the gap between the populace and the government would get automatically bridged.

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