The power crisis in Jammu needs highlighting more than many other things. While talking to the Chief Engineer about the issue, he informed me that, because of payments backlog, the Northern Grid had taken the stance “pay some and get some”, so it was a one-day-to-next-day situation, forcing rationing. Then he added something which I have been constantly hearing from all top PDD officials: “What can we do when people don’t pay their bills?”
When I say that non-payment of bills is part of the problem, and the bigger problem is rampant pilferage, and there should be random checks, the stock answer has been: “We do not have enough staff”! It may be said here that there is enough staff to aid and abet pilferage and make dirty bucks.
I told the present incumbent that it needed exemplary “we-mean-business” action in a few cases in a locality, and others will be shaken to their roots. The chee-chee squads of IAS officers make cosmetic squeals at seminars, “flag” issues and take pontific positions, do not flag the simple truth that exemplary action and a couple of follow-ups act as huge force-multipliers, obviating the need to whimper about “shortage of staff”.
Look what imbecile waste of public money has been involved in the infantile planning of the IRCON-PDD juggernaut of hoisting up thick cables on poles that came down crashing, along with the clusters of transmitters that had been mounted, when the first sharp wind came. Erection of new poles “that would bear the burden of the cables”, replacement of damaged transmitters, and much other concomitant spend followed. Such things make some laugh all the way to the bank, while thousands other shed tears of blood.
The IRCON-PDD juggernaut was for years touted as the smartest and the ultimate in plugging pilferage. The linemen as ever are proving smarter and have found new ways to hook kundis. Now PDD is talking of some more smart contraptions! More moolah for some and tears of blood for millions. There has got to be constant and effective social as well as media audit of this farce that is played out year in year out. The chee-chee lot also, who sit over the top PDD officials, should quit just “flagging” and be effective in plugging the shameless drain of public money that is occurring in this state. As it is, none of them is the worse for it as “Bharat sarkar ka paisa khulla aa jaa raha hai!”
D P Sharma