Srinagar: Pro-India parties in Jammu and Kashmir have sought votes, and won elections, on the bijli, sadak, pani slogan, but the government’s own data shows how shoddily these promises have been kept.
While the power crisis in the state is only worsening by the day, a huge chunk of the population craves for good roads and drinking water supply, and unemployment has increased by around 200 per cent, according to the Economic Survey Report for 2013-14.
According to the report, out of 24,655 habitations in the state, 11,006 are un-electrified or de-electrified or partially electrified which amount to 45 per cent of the total as on October 2013.
The report says the state is ‘perpetually energy deficient’ and has to rely on power purchases from the Northern Grid of India to meet its requirements especially during the winters when demand peaks and local generation reduces leading to a “huge gap between the requirement and the availability of power.”
The 16th All India Power Survey has projected an increase in power demand of the state from 1706 MWs (9640 million units) during 2004-05 to 2120 MWs (14750 MUs) during 2008-09, and the demand is expected to touch 4000 MWs (19500 MUs) by 2020-21, the report says.
The report says that total availability of power for 2013-14 amounts to 9632.782 MUs against the restricted demand of 12046.99 MUs through banking arrangements with NVVN, Punjab, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and also from Power Trading Corporation besides over drawls from the Northern Grid.
One of the reasons for increasing power purchase from outside is because of government’s inefficiency to harness the potential which roughly stands at 20,000 MWs, the report says said.
Out of the identified 16,480 MWs power potential, only 2693.45 MWs (or 16 per cent) has been exploited so far. The tapped power consists of 761.96 MWs in state sector from 21 power projects and 1889 MWs from seven power projects under central sector.
Another area of concern, the report says, has been the transmission and distribution losses which are very high in the state. These losses account for 57 per cent for 2013-14. “The main reasons for these losses are technical as well as commercial. The high technical losses are attributed to existing outdated system,” the report says.
The report has revealed that not much progress had been made in improving the road connectivity in the state, despite years of planned development efforts and flow of huge funds under various government of India-sponsored schemes to address this basic need of the people.
As per report, 20-25 per cent habitations of the state’s total population of 1.25 crore is yet to be connected with the roads. The state also lags behind in terms of road density with only 53 kms of road network per 100 sq km area—which is three times lower than the average of 137 km of road network per 100 sq km area in India.
“When we look at district level, huge disparities are across the districts measured in terms of road density on Public Works Department (PWD) roads,” the report says.
In the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-08), a total of Rs 4492.51 crore was allocated for the construction of roads besides Rs 1002.92 crore additionally allocated under the R&B sector. Of this total amount of Rs 5492.74 crore, Rs 5484.78 crore was spent.
Similarly, in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-13), Rs 657.87 crore was allocated besides Rs 53.27 crore in the form of additionally for improving the road connectivity. Of the total amount of Rs 744.44 crore for 2012-13, Rs 679.61 crore was spent.
The report also says that out of total 100 schemes sanctioned under government of India-sponsored flagship scheme, the Central Road Fund, in 2000 in all districts of the state, only 64 schemes have been completed till November 2013. Among all districts in the state, Doda, Kishtwar and Baramulla have least benefitted under the scheme.
In Doda, out of 16 sanctioned schemes only three have been completed, one out of five in Kishtwar, and in Baramulla out of four only one scheme has been finished during the last 13 years.
According to the Economic Survey Report, only 60 per cent of rural habitations of the state have been fully covered by drinking water supply while the remaining habitations are either partially or not covered by water supply schemes.
According to report, there are 15,613 rural habitations in the state out of which 3,597 habitations area covered under the water supply scheme. In 1675 habitations, the percentage of coverage varies between 50 per cent to less than 75 per cent.
The report says that water sector in the state is facing daunting challenges due to urbanization, industrialization and huge demand for agriculture sector.
“The potential for augmentation of supply is limited, water tables are falling and water quality issues have increased. Our rivers and ground waters are continuously polluted by untreated effluents and sewerages,” the report says.
With each passing year, the state is facing a frequent ration shortage as under the present Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), the state currently provides subsidised ration on the basis of projected population of the year 2000 for 18.02 lakh families only while as per 2011 Census there are 3.02 lakh families which don’t enjoy this facility.
Also under the present system, there is uniform scale of 35 kgs of food grains per ration ticket per month for all categories including APL, BPL and AAY, which is not sufficient for the families in the state where people prefer to live under joint family system.
The state government is yet to start the process to implement National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 which was passed by government of India in September last year.
Even if the Act is passed, the state will be only able to provide subsidised rice to only 74.13 lakh souls out of state’s 1.25 crore population.
The state has witnessed 190 per cent increase in the number of jobseekers registering themselves with the government-run employment exchanges over the last five years.
According to the Economic Survey Report, at the state level the number of registered jobseekers has increased from 106,130 in 2008 to 307,827 in 2013.
During last year, 62,901 Matric pass, 41,460 Graduates, 11,074 Post Graduates, 4558 Engineering Degree holders, 8507 Engineering Diploma holders, 5505 professional ITI trained and 2,015 other skilled professional got themselves registered with employment exchanges in the state.
The report says that during last five years the number of educated persons in the state has gone up to 24.42 per cent.
The report says that growth in agriculture, which is backbone of agro-based economy, still remains somewhere less than two per cent which is “woefully very low”.
“Taking into account average growth rate of last seven years, it is only 2.28 per cent, therefore, is not encouraging,” the report says.