All successive State Governments have absolutely failed in resolving power crisis in Jammu especially during summer months. Year after year , tall promises are made but as usual , nothing worthwhile is done by any government and it is ridiculous to claim a better position in this or that period. We find absolute collapse of the state machinery in at least ensuring 24×7 power supply to Jammu residents whose plight in 40 to 45 degree Celsius temperature without electricity can well be imagined. Reports are that this crisis was going to continue with no respite to people living in the winter capital.
We are pained to find that while the consumers never lag behind in cooperating with the Power Development Department in their newer and newer rules and periodic reviews of power tariff, they are taken for a ride. Mismanagement of generation, supply and distribution is the bane of all the mess and the crisis.
Complaints against the erratic power supply and the hardships encountered by the people in different localities are regularly pouring in at our news desks, the recent one in a nearby vast area, where there was no supply for thirteen hours at a stretch and most of the inverters too had been rendered inoperative. Consumers do not mind paying but they feel cheated when they face undeclared, unscheduled and unwarranted power cuts. There seems no accountability on any count in any form.
Vote politics , lethargy, indifferent attitude, lacking guts to take hard decisions, curbing corruption and corrupt practices, arresting wastages and utter incompetence have ruined the applecart of power management in the state. A relatively underdeveloped State as compared to the J and K, the Himachal Pradesh manages power supply in a professional and competent way and the government needs to adopt their policies and ways. Why should due revenues not be collected? Why should even Government departments, political leaders and others not clear their dues? Why are not the names of defaulters published to expose their failure to clear government liabilities? How long shall the central government bail out the state administration in not clearing power purchase bills as a whooping amount of Rs.450 crores is outstanding as on date against the State? Why should any consumer enjoy free Bijli and not have the supply suspended for not clearing outstanding dues ? Why is there no time limit during which the bills have to be cleared or supply snapped? Last but not the least, why should honest, paying and cooperative consumers suffer ?
Huge investments made in transmission and distribution network seem to have been paying no dividends as frequent outages are witnessed. Numerous schemes of the Union Government even draw a flak here as compared to other States. It is unacceptable; people are put to extreme hardships. Buy and pay, the professional commercial policy alone can salvage the position.
That the Power Trading Corporation should altogether stop making purchases of power for Jammu and Kashmir despite having many a time informed the PDD to clear their liabilities shows total non -seriousness by the government and allowing the situation reaching this far where the ultimate sufferer is the consumer and that too in such weather conditions. The tall claims by the state government made from time to time about reaching self sufficiency levels , even exporting power look like fairy tales. The government is urged to not only act immediately but adequately in the matter and ensure uninterrupted power supply in Jammu region.