Powerless Kashmir cannot see trade and tourism flourish, says trade body

Srinagar: Various trade bodies on Saturday said that the government should stop dreaming about an improved trade and tourism scenario in the Valley if the power curtailment schedule does not see an improvement.

The trade bodies also criticized the government for not taking the power sector seriously.

“Given the present conditions it was difficult to restore tourism activities in Kashmir. Unless power supply is improved to a level of decency, the tourism activities like hotels and restaurants can’t operate,” Kashmir Economic Alliance, KEA President Iqbal Tramboo said

“Every effort of this government towards promotion of tourism will be futile till power supply is decent,” he added.

Meanwhile, KEA, Chairman Muhammad Yasin Khan said that life in the Valley has further deteriorated through “poorest ever power supply” while the power tariff has been hiked by around 20 percent.

“As if the government is resorting to some revengeful tactics that Kashmir is witnessing worst ever power supplies this winter. The electricity remains off for most part of the day while low voltage is playing hide and seek for the rest of the time,” Khan who also heads the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) said.

He said at a time when the business fraternity, particularly shopkeepers are struggling to restore activities, the poor power supply is actually sabotaging such efforts.

Accusing the PDD of wasting time in issuing curtailment programs, he said no such roaster was being followed and that it was the responsibility of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) to keep track of this ‘mischief’ by the official machinery.

“When the curtailment schedule is not to be adhered to, it’s better for the PDD to issue black posters instead,” Khan said.

He said amid unrest in Kashmir, the government hiked the fee by around 20%. “This is really dirty politics that government is playing as it wants to crush Kashmiris from all sides and this is something intolerable,” he said.

Threatening to taking to streets, he asked the government to improve the power supplies as per requirement. “Why can’t there be uninterrupted power supply, when our water resources are being exploited?” he asked.

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