Author: Saadut
•8:23 PM

When the Prime minister of India recently inaugurated the 450 MW Baglihar Hydro Electric Project on river Chenab, he expressed his delighted as the project was fully owned by the Jammu and Kashmir State, completed with the funds made available under PM’s reconstruction plan and considered this as the most important development project for Jammu and Kashmir, since availability of power is a pre-requisite to promote industrialization and side by side meet domestic needs, as such, power is the basic necessity.

Electronic media and news papers devoted full time and print to the said event with people’s expectation reaching the top, hopeful of an imminent improvement situation in the valley. The europhia couldn’t last long as soon enough the reality came to fore. The new schedule issued for Kashmir was dark and devoid of any ray of light. With forced power cuts for four or five days it was now a long dark future that stared in the face of Kashmiri’s. What happened to the promises made and the projects completed? Instead of any improvement in the situation, we were being pushed to oblivion and overcast tomorrow. What happened to the power being generated in the state? With protests tickling in from pockets of habitation in the state, people started wondering as to what future was being molded for them. With augmentation of 450 MW’s in the state sector the power situation must have improved. What was the reason for degradation of services contrary to the expected improvement? Has the same power schedule been implemented in Jammu also? If the schedule is uniform in the state (both regions of Kashmir and Jammu) then there is surely lack of planning and foresight with power planners and state bureaucrats. However if there is any disparity in the power schedule and supply implemented in the two regions then it must be fairly understood across all social sections that policies on Kashmir are entirely being driven by an anti people agenda in which our bureaucrats are playing a major role. A sudden disruption in services that coincided with the declaration of election dates is puzzling, keeping in mind that there was no beak down reported in any of the power generation or transmission projects in the state. Recently Chief Engineer PDD made a comment stating that 99% consumers in Kashmir resorted to power theft. And may we ask who are the 1% who don’t reportedly resort to theft. The statement clearly implicates that almost all of Kashmiri’s are thieves, a statement which stares us in the face. My we ask what part of the percentage terms your locality falls in Mr. Chief Engineer. The plea of the official that “since I cannot act against some , I shall deprive all” does not hold any value. It is just a camouflage to hide the real agenda behind the act. We all understand that the industrial progress that Jammu has achieved in the last decade would not be possible had adequate supply of power not been made to the region. And all this progress was made at the cost of development in Kashmir, resulting in the present situation where in Kashmir plays the fodder and Jammu the master in terms of economic dependencies and strengths. The present denial of proper or adequate power supply to Kashmir and reducing from the recent levels of power availability to consumers will further retard the fractional progress that Kashmir would have limped to all these years. When Jammu is well provided for in terms of power supply why deny this to Kashmir. It is not that there is no power pilferage in Jammu. In some cases it may be the same or even more in Jammu than in Kashmir. And what about the omnipresent security forces in the valley that waste no opportunity to demand by force and have more than their share of the meagre electric resources.

When children are forced to skip study time at home for want of electricity, when homes are turned into dark haunted cement structures and when all activities of life are limited to the few hours in a week when the elusive electricity is made reluctantly available to Kashmiri’s, futures are marred not made. While the children of these bureaucrats study abroad, the less privileged common Kashmiri children are forced to be in bed as soon as the sun sets. Children studying under lamp posts, preparing to compete and succeeding up the career ladder are fantasies of Bollywood canvas. Real life facts are different. It is the policy of deprivation that the politicians and bureaucrats having affiliation to Delhi devise, that moulds, decides and ultimately destroys the future of Kashmir’s.

As if the recent blockade forced by Jammu was not enough, which tried to annihilate the common man in Kashmir, now comes this forced darkness on Kashmir which shall surely extinguish any existing business ventures that may have sustained in the harsh conditions of the yesteryear's. For the past some days, business have already started to work on curtailed work shifts or in some cases been sitting idle for full days for want of electricity. At this rate we may soon find ourselves in pre industrial era in Kashmir. Diminishing businesses, downed shutters and education in shambles: what kind of future is being carved by New Delhi for the common Kashmiri’s? Do we wake up to fight this indifference and apathy of the powers that are or do we go into slumber mode for fazed posterity. It is for the common Kashmir to decide their future.

My friends in the bureaucracy would term my article as instigation, but they are unaware of the difficulties faced by the common Kashmiri since all the needs and amenities of these tie wielding warriors of Delhi are provided for by the state from the King’s coffers. Do we really have a power deficient in the state that has to be equitably managed in the state or is there more to than meets the eye?

Are Kashmiri’s being punished to the level of forced extinction just because they adhere to a particular line of political thought? Has New Delhi resorted to all extremes that it can to, to twist the arm and break the neck? 

24th October 2008

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