July 17, 2024

Frozen In The Shadows: Kashmir’s Winter Nights Prolonged By Unyielding Electricity Woes And Corporate Obligations Unmet

Frozen In The Shadows: Kashmir’s Winter Nights Prolonged By Unyielding Electricity Woes And Corporate Obligations Unmet

Danish Naseer

Srinagar, 04 February: On the 4th of February 2024, Dr. Amir Rashid Wani, a prominent Peace Socio-Political Activist and Chairman of Mooj Kasheer Welfare Trust, issued a comprehensive statement expressing deep-seated concerns over the deteriorating electricity situation in the Kashmir Division. The backdrop of his statement is the persistent and unsettling issue of unscheduled power cuts, which have exacerbated the challenges faced by residents, particularly during the unforgiving winter season.

Dr. Amir Rashid Wani highlighted the disconnect between the promises made by the Power Development Department (PDD) and the ground reality experienced by the people. Despite the introduction of a new curtailment schedule by the PDD, it appears that its implementation has been inconsistent, leading to widespread power outages. The recent snowfall in various parts of the Kashmir division has only intensified the problem, leaving far-flung areas engulfed in darkness and residents grappling with the harsh consequences of being without power in such extreme weather conditions.

The Peace Activist urged the Power Development Department to take immediate and effective measures to ensure uninterrupted power supply around the clock. Emphasizing the urgency of the situation, he called for dedicated teams to be dispatched promptly to areas where repairs are needed, with the aim of swiftly restoring power to affected regions. The statement underscored the pressing need for reliable electricity services, particularly during adverse weather conditions that pose serious challenges to the well-being of the local population.

Dr. Amir Rashid Wani did not limit his critique to the Power Development Department alone. He extended his concerns to hydropower generating companies operating in Jammu And Kashmir. Despite generating substantial revenue from their operations, these companies have seemingly fallen short in fulfilling their obligations under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In particular, he pointed out the shortcomings of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) like the Chandigarh-based PNR group.

Drawing attention to the Branwar area, where the PNR group had established a Mini Hydro Electric power plant under the Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) agreement, Dr. Amir Rashid Wani lamented the failure of the company to provide the promised subsidized power to local residents. Furthermore, he criticized the lack of utilization of CSR funds for the welfare of the community, especially when juxtaposed with the substantial increases in power tariffs imposed by the Power Department. This disconnection between the financial success of hydropower companies and the unmet needs of the local populace underscored the broader issue of accountability and responsibility within the sector.

In a fervent appeal, Dr. Amir Rashid Wani called upon the Administration to take immediate and necessary measures to address the genuine grievances of the people. He stressed the need for a proactive and comprehensive approach to not only mitigate the current challenges but also to enhance the overall quality of electricity services across the Kashmir division. The statement concluded with a poignant reminder of the critical role electricity plays in maintaining a decent quality of life, particularly during the challenging winter months, and the imperative for swift and effective action to ensure the well-being of the affected communities.

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