The Bold Voice of J&K

Electricity crisis amidst scorching heat

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Shyam Sudan

Jammu and Kashmir is popularly known as paradise on earth due its serene views, lush green beauty and availability of many natural treasures of life. Despite having all these natural blessing and treasures the denizens of this region is facing lot of hardship and miseries of life. Due to improper infrastructure development and poor management the people are devoid of many basic facilities of their day today life. Especially in rural areas of UT of Jammu & Kashmir, there is acute shortage of potable water supply and electricity. Large percentage of population of UT is residing in villages and other rural areas. During summer season the vulnerability of power supply abruptly increased in such areas and thus affected the life of rural people. At present when there is partial lockdown like scenario in the region like other parts of the country. It become very difficult for children, old age persons and other sick people to confine themselves within their homes with no electricity or disrupted power supply. No doubt it is very tedious and laborious task for the power department to maintain the continuity of uninterrupted power supply in such inaccessible regions of the UT. Topographically the rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir are very inaccessible and isolated. Moreover due to various climatic barriers and other natural hindrances it is very difficult to provide all the hour power supply for domestic purposes. As we know during rainy season and snowing many electric poles get damaged and effected by the natural way. But it is very unwise to blame only nature for this improper power supply in homes of rural inhabitants of Jammu and Kashmir. There are lot of human errors also responsible for this problem of poor electricity supply in homes .There are lot of power generation plants and other hydroelectric projects working in Jammu and Kashmir. Even we are the supplier of extra power in other states also. But in our region we are facing the shortage and deficient power supply. The problem of frequent cuts and low voltage supply generally appears in summer months. When the people are already facing the problem of harsh and intense heat such extra problem of electricity make their life more vulnerable. This low voltage supply generally effects the life of poor farmers and other labour class who generally depends upon electricity for their daily works and irrigation purposes. Due to low voltage supply their electric gadgets i.e., electric motors, flour mills and other machinery cannot work properly. Moreover due to low voltage supply the poor students of these areas cannot get the proper time for their study during night hours. As these students generally busy in their different house hold chores and other agricultural works with their family. In urban areas and cities there is no such problem and burden over the life of school going children. They can take their evening coaching classes and late hours study without any such kind of interruption .This is also one of the reasons behind the poor performance of rural students in their exams and other competitive advantage.
In Rural areas however people generally pay their electricity bills without any betrayal and refusal on flat rates. However the consumption of electricity is low in rural areas as compared to the urban and city areas. But despite paying all the electricity dues well in time these people are suffering from this man made devastation. Generally large queues of rural people can be seen in bank counters, who dedicatedly submit their bills without any delay.
But despite of paying their electricity bills well in time they have got poor supply of electricity benefits in their homes. Power theft and poor infrastructural management is responsible behind the plight of such innocent rural people. Many careless people have installed various kinds of electric gadgets i.e., air conditioners etc without any proper electricity connection and registration. Such kind of power theft culture affects supply of power. Moreover in rural areas mostly people are facing the problem of frequent loud shedding and electricity curtailment for long hours. However electricity department has announced in advance the timing of curtailment due to various maintenance works on line. But in rural areas people generally waits for more hours beyond the prescribed curtailment time limit. Sometime due to carelessness of ground workers of power department rural people faces untimely cuts in power supply. Even a small variation of weather effect the supply of electricity in homes. As we know the various transmission lines generally located in forest and other woody areas. Non-cutting or improper cutting of these trees branches where such transmission lines generally pass frequently effect the power supply in rural areas in odd weather conditions. Now the government has decided for privatization of power sector in union territories of the country. Such thing can put an extra pressure on the life of rural people of Jammu and Kashmir, because there is no guarantee of any kind of improvement in power supply in rural areas. There is an urgent need to launch a campaign against power theft culture in Jammu and Kashmir. Moreover some extra efforts are needed on priority basis for rural areas for supply of uninterrupted and proper voltage supply in houses. There are some areas and villages in Jammu and Kashmir where the voltage supply is very low. Extra transformers supply must be provided in such areas. It is generally noticed that it took many days in rural areas for the repair of old transformers and other grid power gadgets. Every year government has spent huge budget on this sector. Many other states where there is no power generation plant are enjoying the benefits of proper and uninterrupted power supply round the clock. Here we are producing sufficient quantity of power for our consumption but due to poor management and negligence of few suffering in our houses.

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