Public Square

Summer heat series by PDD

Post August 2019 numerous things have changed in J&K as many structural reforms were done. But in spite of such big shifts, business is as usual for J&K PDD department and department maintained its consistency from erstwhile state to UT. An ‘award of honour’ must be given to this department for not changing its performance even after having witnessed a big structural reform. Numerous progressive things have been done to improve the status and picture of our J&K. However, it seems that significance to the issue of unscheduled power cuts in Jammu isn’t on priority list of present administration too. Like past many years, this year too Jammu region is facing hot and humid days with erratic power supply. During prevailing heat wave, power cuts are happening for 6 to 10 hours daily. These unscheduled power cuts and fluctuations in the Jammu region have pushed the people into a hell like situation.

The issue is not extreme for those living in government accommodations as they don’t have to face this. The result is that they don’t get associated with this on ground problem. Adding to it are PDD engineers who consistently present a positive situation of power issue in Jammu. The revenue generation done by PDD is not going in right direction and nothing is done to instill confidence in public. Every year as mercury rises and frequent cuts cause uproar, PDD asks people to make judicious use of electricity. Instead of admitting the failures on their part they make an excuse of people overloading the system. It’s purely wrong and manipulative because with changing times electricity consumption requirements have increased and it is duty of PDD to enhance its system. By asking for ‘judicious use of electricity’ basically PDD demands ‘minimum use of electricity’ from public.

Some people are honestly paying electricity bills and yet they are among the sufferers. A non-paying customer and a law abiding citizen both are getting same treatment at the hands of PDD. Now talks are going on for installing ‘prepaid meters’ in Jammu by PDD. This ‘prepaid meters’ theory should be left aside and first post paid meters should be installed in entire Jammu as many people are still using the services of PDD without having any meter in their houses. The LG led administration must ensure that such problems are solved firstly so that scorching summers next year aren’t same due to misadventures of PDD. Administration should keep that in mind the real problem and work on it before going ahead with such fancy ideas of ‘prepaid meters’.

Not to forget that ongoing pandemic circumstances is keeping people homebound and in this COVID crisis these power cuts may  prove fatal for all those who are on oxygen support at their homes. The long cuts adversely impact the entire family who has such patient and a sense of fear comes in as power goes. Besides, all students who are at homes due to closure of educational institutes too are getting affected by this interrupted power supply. This alone is not the impact, talk of the economy and Jammu industrial sector couldn’t pick up on work the way it could have ever since unlock started in the J&K. This all caused hue and cry and Jammu residents started campaigns on social media against the government to declare ‘city of temples’ as ‘city of power cuts’.

The result of this social media campaign came and the LG led administration ordered an enquiry to find out the reasons for prevailing power situation. Hoping for this enquiry to reach a logical conclusion and it will be interesting to see on whom the responsibility will be fixed for such unscheduled blackouts. Earlier also in the erstwhile state of J&K the governments have shown displeasure on such incidents but as summers passed they forgot everything. This gap generated in past years to fix the accountability is the main cause of this continuous summer heat series by PDD every year. J&K has set targets of travelling a long way after August 2019 and the access to electricity will surely improve the idea of ‘Naya’ Jammu Kashmir.

 

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About the author

Dr Satwant Singh Rissam

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