Srinagar: Winter is here and so are the hardships as a function of harsh weather and ill prepared authorities. Harsh winters and the associated miseries have been a calendar event with the same issues of road blockade, curtailment in electricity supplies, and shortage of essentials making a ritualistic comeback every year.
Decades of dealing with the same problem should ideally have helped authorities to prepare better and ensure that winters don’t mean the same unassailable problems for the public. That hasn’t been the case so far.
However, if the statements from the officials at the helm of affairs are anything to go by, there should be no scope of a repetition of such ill preparedness this winter. No less than the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has issued instructions to the concerned authorities to be prepared to deal with the winter vagaries. Additionally, the discourse around the need to prepare better started well in time leaving officials with no scope to cry “sudden eventuality”.
Hence, the winter remains a litmus test for the officials when it comes to deal with problems that the season brings along.
Efforts must be made to mitigate the crisis that is bound to come through acute shortage of electricity supply. Not only is there a massive gap between the requirement to availability, the irresponsible behaviour of concerned officials has meant that the electricity distribution infrastructure remains in a shambles. So much so that the officials of the power development department are on record to say that even if there was more electrify supply ensured from the Northern Grid, the problem will still remain as there is no infrastructure to distribute the same.
Minimizing the impact of bad weather on the road connectivity remains another challenge. With Srinagar receiving season’s first snowfall on Monday, all the important roads connecting valley with the outside world remain closed. Needless to say that it directly hits the supply line for the essentials, leads to skyrocketing of prices and thus problems for the commoner.