Expressing concern over the precarious power situation in Kashmir, CPI (M) leader MY Tarigami Sunday said the electricity woes continue unabated in the region while the electricity tariffs have been hiked arbitrarily by the government.
Tarigami said power cuts inevitably grow longer every winter since the power deficiency in J&K does not seem to improve. With the onset of winter, he said, the unscheduled and prolonged power cuts become an unwritten rule, not only in non-metered areas, but metered areas as well.
“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,” Tarigami said.
He said people living in rural and far flung areas most of the time remain without electricity and are compelled to arrange for alternate sources of power since they are facing the worst power crisis.
He said even in cities and towns, people had to face low voltage and erratic power supply and students appearing for different exams are the worst hit by the power crisis.
Tarigami said power authorities have hiked electricity tariff in a unilateral decision when the government has even failed to provide regular supply to consumers.
He said the department has no cogent and valid justification in hiking the power tariff. The party said it opposes the plans of the government to privatise 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,” Tarigami said.
He said privatization of electricity was 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 pandemic, such proposals that will favour the wealthy while burdening the needy, are totally unacceptable,” he said.