Although much remains to be done in the whole scenario including power generation, distribution, revenue collection and verification of its leakages, revitalization of the administrative and auditing structure, it must however be admitted that on a comparative basis, there seems to be a noticeable improvement in ground level. This was seen in December last year when 20,000 employees of UT’s energy development department went on an all-out strike resulting in an outage of power to most parts of UT. , but the government conceded most of the demands of the striking employees, perhaps in view of the difficulties encountered by the population and to ensure the restoration of the power supply as soon as possible. However, how to strengthen the entire electrical infrastructure is in itself a matter of great importance which should involve and engage technical and engineering, professional, managerial and administrative, economic and commercial experts as well as experienced professional experts. However, the UT government which has embarked on an ambitious plan to generate additional electricity by the end of 2024 to the tune of 2,500 MW as recently informed by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, has shown that this central sector received reasonable attention and was perhaps treated as a priority.
It is undeniable that the entire power structure in Jammu and Kashmir has been in a worn and dilapidated state for consecutive years that needs to be transformed. In this regard, the UT Lieutenant Governor informing that the same is being approached with the goal of transformation and that too at a faster pace, generates hopes for improving the position of power that the people of the UT. It goes without saying that in addition to solving the specific problems related to power generation and distribution in UT of Jammu and Kashmir, at macro level, there was an urgent need to introduce a series reforms and innovative measures to ensure a real turnaround in this vital sector. sector. This is how one can interpret Lieutenant-Governor Manoj Sinha’s statement on the “resolve to find a practical, pragmatic and viable solution” to strengthen the electricity infrastructure “in each district”.
However, in recent times, an approach of solving district-specific problems related to government power can be observed as in the case of Samba district which had its own problems, especially in network station for which the The population’s prolonged wait for as many as 15 long years is apparently over. This has resulted in the Lieutenant Governor recently inaugurating up to 22 power transmission and distribution projects in Samba at a cost of Rs.216 crore. The event heralded nothing less than the changing face of the existing power scenario in the region, hence the moment seems historic in itself. This is mainly because it was going to increase the capacity and bring a great improvement in power supply to the people of not only Samba but also its neighboring areas like Kathua, Hiranagar, Udhampur and many parts of Jammu. Since a good part of the industrial belt is located in the central areas of Samba, Kathua, etc., it has benefited greatly, thus giving impetus to the production of industrial products. Similarly, in Bajalta in Jammu, 20 power distribution projects costing Rs 40 crore were also inaugurated by the Lieutenant Governor to deal with power shortages usually seen during peak seasons.
Admittedly, the economy of UT is “expanding”, new economic and business options and ventures are knocking at the doors of potential Jammu and Kashmir. In this regard, it is hardly necessary to dwell on the central role that power plays in sustained and improved economic activity. Therefore, upgrading and improving power generation and distribution to bridge the gaping gap of ever-increasing power demand and supply in Jammu and Kashmir must be addressed as a matter of priority. . It is again encouraging to note that the upcoming power projects costing Rs.12922 crore in UT will surely result in adding to the total power availability to further reduce the import of power to the benefit of households, industry as well as agriculture. in opening up more employment opportunities, direct and indirect. The Lieutenant Governor praising the honest consumer who regularly pays their electric bills, those “bigwigs” and different political parties and their leaders who are usually notorious for not paying their electric bills and who have huge outstanding payments against them, should be dealt with. no leniency under the saying “Use and Pay”. In addition to doing everything in our power to increase electricity generation and distribution, installing smart meters and checking electricity theft while also making electricity dues on time with missionary zeal , we are confident that UT will become self-sufficient in power generation, even with the ability to export it – the people of UT have been ‘asked’ for all these decades to dream rather than ‘achieve’ this