In Jammu and Kashmir, the electricity has always been used as a political tool by the politicians with the result a large chunk of population particularly the business houses have forgotten that they are supposed to pay for the electricity as is being paid in the other parts of India. There is almost 7000 crore deficits on account of electricity every year to the state. Even the big programmes of Govt. of India like APDRP could not be successful here in this state due to vested interests of the engineers of the electric department. The Govt. has now created five corporations of the electric department and is even thinking of privatizing the electricity on Delhi pattern which will feed 24 X7 electricity to the consumers. Thus, the substance of the corporation will depend on the collection of the fee only, which the department has forgotten from many decades. The employees are now worried about their extra income in corporation.
May be some demands of the employees be genuine but for that sake they cannot ransack the whole population of the state. There are some rules for essential services which they shall keep in mind.
The strike has affected the hapless papulation badly, at the same time the power supply is on in Jammu city in the VIP areas which clearly establishes that the agitation is against the commonman only. There are numerous patients at home who are suffering with cancer or Asthma and are regularly on the oxygen concentrators they are virtually dying this time, even some have been now shifted to the district/provincial hospitals.
The local health centers are also helpless due to non-supply of electricity. The COVID crises has already broken the back bone of the labour but due to electric shut down the masons, the workers doing job of welding, aluminum works, glass etc works are not in a position to earn their bread .
The Govt shall immediately take steps to call off the strike either by settlement with employees or shall take the steps which the Hon’ble Governor of J&K Sh. Sat pal Malik took in 2019 against the employees of National Health Mission. If the Govt does not take either of the steps to restore electricity immediately, then it is clear that there is lack of will by Govt and can be deemed that the strike is going on due to the hidden support of the senior administration of the UT Government. I also appeal our Hon’ble Chief Justice of the State to intervene in the matter and the lawyer fraternity to come up with a PIL against such criminal strike by the employees of JKPDD/JKPDCs.
Sr. Officer of Govt. of India