Winter begins

Officially, as put by the Director meteorological department, the winter has begun from December 1.  The preceding few weeks already have seen freezing weather conditions with mercury recording freefall almost on a daily basis. The first day of the winter started with mercury in Srinagar falling to minus 2.5 degrees Celsius, the lowest so far this season. Hilly areas have been under a deeper freeze. The ensuing days are bound to be freezing. Also, people of J&K, more particularly people of Kashmir Valley, are hoping that they do not have to endure severe curtailment of the facilities necessary to alleviate the sufferings. One of the important facilities, if not the facility, is availability of electricity. Unfortunately, there is already curtailment in the schedule daily supply and more so agonizing power outages have started to haunt the people of Kashmir Valley. In fact, it is an old story that people of J&K have been subjected to time and again, notwithstanding the claims by the successive governments regarding improvement.  People have to bear the harshness of the winters in absence of electricity.

Despite augmenting power supply, the uninterrupted power 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 people have been craving to see the concerned department improve its performance, and to provide electricity for a reasonable time. 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 winter. 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 as against the past when people would do with burning woods or utilize charcoal differently.

Given the importance, the frequent and unscheduled power cuts are nothing short of violating the basic requirements of life. The concerned authorities must be held responsible for this. While people need to use electricity judiciously, the authorities need to respond to the public outcry on the important matter urgently. Gaps need to be fixed and demand-supply ensured.  Senior officers of the department recently said that there was need for “reasonable and fair curtailment schedule” as also its strict adherence. Hopefully statements are complied with in practice in toto rather than the breach and not restricted to paper only as has been the case in the past.

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