Earlier week, there was snowfall in higher reaches and rains lashed plains. Since there is chill and it is only aggravating with passage of time. Put another way around, the winter has set in even as the 40-day harshest period in Kashmir, known in the local parlance as ‘Chillai-Kalan’, is over two month away. It’s followed by a 20-day ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold). Given the present weather condition, it rather signifies that harsh winter is all but going to be harsher. The harshness invariably gets stronger in absence of electricity and despite the claims by the successive governments regarding improvement in the scenario; it remains the more or less same as in the past. Already there are power cuts and there is hoping that it will not prolong as winter seems ominous. Despite augmenting power supply, the uninterrupted supply or providing it even as per the time schedule announced by the PDD seems a far cry. Rather it appears to be unattainable.
The absence of electricity makes life miserable, irrespective of whether it is spring, summer, autumn, or winter. However, in terms of severity, it ought to be winters. The scale of hardships caused by it is not something one needs to explain. The importance or dependency on electricity is simply more in contemporary times than the past when people would do with burning woods or utilize charcoal differently.
Routines of life are determined by the supply of electricity. Almost all aspects of life are reliant on power. The household chores are now entirely dependent on electricity. The administration must bear that this is the season for examination, and students have to put in extra effort in their studies which is inevitably dependent on light. Without electricity, everything turns upside down.
The water level in the rivers recedes and in effect the generation of power decreases substantially and as a consequence, distribution systems get burdened. The reasons for the shortfall are well known. The problem has been discussed over and over again. Unfortunately, the solution eludes, the reasons are well known also. Given the importance, the frequent and unscheduled power cuts are nothing short of violating the basic requirements of life. As has been rightly underscored by the Lieutenant Governor during a recent meeting on preparedness, there is need for taking “preemptive plans” for emergencies arising out of weather vagaries. There is a need to ensure that a robust mechanism is in place to minimize disruptions of essential services to the public.