Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Chronic Corruption Equals Infrequent Electricity Supply

Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Department (PDD) is a text book case of gross mismanagement

PDD Losing Rs 1800 cr Revenue Every Year

ET Report

Jammu: The State of J&K is losing Rs 1800 crore as revenue due to mismanagement in Power Development Department (PDD) every year and despite the fact that the Government is full aware about this huge loss it has failed to frame any comprehensive policy to arrest the same.

According to sources out of this Rs 1800 crore loss which the PDD suffers every year, 15 percent is the transmission loss while the rest is due to corrupt practices prevailing in the Department.

The sources said out of these Rs 1800 crore loss, over 200 crore is on account of over six lakh illegal connections in the State which the PDD has failed to regularize till date. The reset loss incurred upon the Department is due to the nexus between the big industrialists, members of business community and the Departmental officials, sources added.

This growing nexus and mismanagement of the PDD has led to worst ever power crisis which the Jammu region is facing at present, sources said, adding had the Department been in a position to arrest the loss it would have improved its revenue position and purchased more electricity from Northern Grid to meet its domestic needs.

However, the bureaucratic lobby and engineers always advised the Government otherwise providing everyone a chance to loot the Department in his own way at the cost of public exchequer, sources said.

Sources said that the power crisis have so deepened in Jammu this summer that the people in metered areas are also facing 12 to 14 hours power cut and even in Summer Capital of Srinagar the consumers in metered areas are constantly facing long duration power cuts though the Government has in principle agreed that the metered areas will be given round the clock power supply.

The power theft is also a continuous process in metered areas as well and the people in various such localities have also taken double connections one is metered and another unregistered. Either the hooks are laid in the evening to avoid the surplus load on meter and misuse the electricity. This all is done in connivance with the PDD authorities, sources added.

Sources said one of the main drawbacks with PDD is that it has no permanent Minister to frame a proper policy for the Department to put it back on rails and create proper avenues of revenue generation and making it responsive to people's problems.

Sources said no proper attention has been paid on increasing the power generation in the State and despite the fact that J&K having enough natural resources of power generation, the State is facing acute power crisis. The problem takes critical turn in Summer in Jammu region and during Winter in Kashmir Valley and people in both the regions have to face power curtailments for long durations, sources added.

Sources said there is no head way on the construction for upgradation of Ganderbal Hydel Project from Five megawatt to 100 Megawatt though the work on the project has been started over 10 years back. The work was abandoned after the land acquisition and construction of some quarters due to shortage of funds, sources added.

Sources said that the Upper Sindh Hydel Project Stage IInd which was constructed and commissioned over a decade back is not generating full 105 mw of power for which it was designed as one unit of the project is idle for last over three years after it was damaged. Though knowing fully the State is running shortage of power no headway has been made to restore this unit, sources added.

Ridiculing the Department claims to recover water charges from NHPC as claimed by PHE Minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din the sources said this all is an eyewash and instead of recovering water charges from already constructed projects by NHPC the PDC is going to allot more projects to the organization.

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