With the heat wave intensifying day after day in Jammu & Kashmir like several states and Union Territories of the country the rising public complaints about shortage of water availability and mid-summer power curtailments show that public concerns over water scarcity and power curtailments don’t head to any dead end in both Kashmir valley and Jammu division. Knowing that tourist season is at it’s best after three years of pandemic in Kashmir valley the pressing issues of water and power availability should not have been left unresolved till the commencement of tourist season this year. Had the top brass of both Jal Shakti and Power Development Departments done the home work to ensure hassle free water supply and water availability in peak summer months to both the local populations and as well as commercial establishments the public complaints about water shortage and power cuts won’t have been as much intense in mid tourist season as they are now. This time when the hotels are fully occupied with tourists and annual amaranth yatra is about to commence in less than a fortnight, adhoc solutions won’t bring any respite to local population in any part of Kashmir valley or Jammu division. Asking people to judiciously use water and power would surely reduce the rising demand but judicious use of water and power won’t be sufficient enough to cater to the rising water requirements of hoteliers in mid tourist season in Kashmir valley. Though Jal Shakti department is pressing into service water tankers to supply portable water on daily basis to some residential areas facing acute shortage of water in both Kashmir valley and Jammu division but this unusual practice being executed for delivery of water to the households can’t be permanent solution to the rising water crisis in either Kashmir valley or Jammu division. Reduced focus on completion of water supply schemes launched in recent years and the inability to start work on new water supply schemes by Jal Shakti department during last three years of pandemic may be the cause of simmering water crisis in both urban and rural parts of Kashmir but had the Jal Shakti Department focused well on improvement in the delivery of water to both residential populations and as well as commercial houses like hotels, shopping malls, schools, colleges and hospitals, the complaints about water shortage won’t have been as much intense as they are now in mid tourist season.
In a scenario of increasing tourist inflow immediate corrective measures could only reduce the increasing gapes in demand and supply of water and power in mid tourist season in Kashmir valley. Never forget that corrective measures once taken are to be consistently supervised by the authorities of both Jal Shakti and Power Development Departments at the highest level.
Like water shortage the power curtailments even in mid tourist season shows that power generation plans are not also executed well to meet the rising power demand in mid tourist season in Kashmir valley. Installation of smart meters may bring down the rising demand of power from local populations in Srinagar the summer but it won’t reduce the rising demand for power from hoteliers in mid tourist season in any part of Kashmir valley. What matters the most is the fact that heat wave in Kashmir is not as intense this year as it was lost year. In a scenario of increasing tourist inflow immediate corrective measures could only reduce the increasing gapes in demand and supply of water and power in mid tourist season in Kashmir valley. Never forget that corrective measures once taken are to be consistently supervised by the authorities of both Jal Shakti and Power Development Departments at the highest level.