Electricity tariff hike despite power cuts unjustified: Tarigami

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Nov 15: Expressing serious concern over the precarious power situation, CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami today said the electricity woes continue unabated in Jammu and Kashmir while the electricity tariffs have been hiked arbitrarily by the Government.
In a press statement here Tarigami said, power cuts inevitably grow longer every winter since the power deficiency in J&K doesn’t seem to improve. With the onset of winter, the unscheduled and prolonged power cuts become an unwritten rule, not only in non-metered areas, but metered as well.
He said no power schedule is being followed on ground and even metered areas are facing long and unscheduled power cuts much to the annoyance of the public. People living in rural and far flung areas most of the time remain without electricity and are compelled to arrange for alternate sources of illumination since they are facing the worst power crisis. Even in cities and towns, people had to face low voltage and erratic power supply. Students appearing for different exams are the worst hit by the power crisis in Kashmir, he added.
Tarigami said Power authorities have hiked electricity tariff in a unilateral decision when the Government has even failed to provide regular supply to consumers. The Department has no cogent and valid justification in hiking the power tariff.
CPI (M) also opposes the plans of the Government to privatize the power sector in Jammu and Kashmir as this sector is important for industrial growth and for eradicating unemployment. If the Government moves ahead with any plan of privatization, not only the employees of the PDD, but consumers too will have to bear the brunt. The decision will hit consumers and traders hard as private players will increase tariff as per their own choice.
“Privatization of electricity is no way for power sector reforms, rather it will impact adversely upon poor domestic consumers, medium and small industries and poor farmers. At a time when the economy is in a tailspin and the country is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, such proposals that will favour the wealthy while burdening the needy, are totally unacceptable,” Tarigami maintainerd.