Mess of power generation and distribution in Kashmir

Mess of power generation and distribution in Kashmir

Though the gaps between the demand and supply of power increase in the chilly seasons of winter, but the power supply worsened beyond the expectations of consumers in Kashmir valley this winter season. Despite public outcry against the erratic power supply government does not wake up from deep slumber to smoothen the distribution of power supply in the state. Though consumers too are committing punishable offences like hooking to misuse power in the evening but equally criminal is the nexus of the field functionaries of power development department particularly the line men and Inspectors. Instead of regulating power thefts in both villages and urban localities the helmsmen of power development department dare the complaining consumers to come up with the formal complaints for granting the department an opportunity to punish the culprits. While fact remains that neighbours in any village or urban locality can’t afford to anger each other by complaining to the power development department about the power thefts by some consumers the department by no standards of understandability can’t escape responsibility by simply taking the lame excuse that consumers have to come up with the complaints against power theft by some consumers. So the initiative for regulating the power theft has to come from the power development department which has to simultaneously take care of the infrastructural upgradation requirements from time to time. Though successive governments in Jammu and Kashmir state have listed infrastructural upgradation as their main achievement and same holds good for the present governor’s dispensation which has just completed five years of coalition rule in the state but the power generation and distributing systems are worsening year after year.

While the state’s topography and weather is conducive for introducing some novel and cost effective strategies for increasing power generation and distribution system, an administrative will to take initiatives is the only determinant factor for improving the worsening power generation and distribution systems in the state particularly the Kashmir valley.

Though the last two successive popular governments headed by Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti talked much about the thrust of the Prime Minister’s reconstruction plan on the infrastructural upgradation of the power facilities in the state but the worsening power scenario dispute the very claims of successive popular governments. Though one reason for the worsening power supply could be that the rapid urbanization has doubled the dependence on power fuelled gadgets but the same could not be cited a reason to reason to escape responsibilities by the government. It is very unfortunate that the protests against excessive power curtailment are met with the use of brutal force on hapless protestors who are well within their rights to take to streets to demand for basic amenities. Fact remains that there is much more that is ailing the power generation and distribution systems in the state particularly the Kashmir and so the use of force against the protestors can’t be justified any way. The question arises that why should the people be punished for the folly of a few looking after the affairs of power generation and distribution systems in the state while official reports have already indicated that power defaulters are mostly the government departments, power wielding politicians, serving and retired bureaucrats, security force installation and the offices of some frontline mainstream political parties. A realistic assessment needs to be made of the genesis of the power crisis, by taking into consideration the follies played by the people in power and politicians boasting of being the law makers of high integrity. Some of the reasons are too glaringly evident. One big reason is that the implementation is bogged down by the inability to tackle the flaws in the distribution and as well as the infrastructural system. The power crisis however cannot be tackled by a simple review of the agreements presently in place as this would not address the core issue of the irregularities in the generation and distribution of the power system in the state. While fact remains that the rampant corruption results in inequitable distribution of power and complacency over repair and upgradation of power related infrastructure like cables, transformers and transmission towers, the figures shown incurred on generation and distribution are surprising and as well as questionable. While the state’s topography and weather is conducive for introducing some novel and cost effective strategies for increasing power generation and distribution system, an administrative will to take initiatives is the only determinant factor for improving the worsening power generation and distribution systems in the state particularly the Kashmir valley.

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