All it took was a few inches of a freak snowfall to plunge Kashmir into absolute darkness. One could be forgiven to ignore it as an isolated event brought about by an unforeseen contingency. But, this would amount to bailing out the culpable and overlooking what is actually gross negligence. After all, we live in the 21st century and each day there are tall claims by powers that be of improved governance in the blighted vale of Kashmir. The excuse trotted out by some within the administration, especially the power department , for the total and systemic breakdown of electricity here is that the lines carrying power(electricity) were hit by trees that fell under the weight of the snow! This is not mere excuse but actually makes a mockery of the intelligence of the masses. Yes, in certain cases this might well be true but there are clear guidelines in the manuals that there should be no trees within a certain area of power lines. The real reason for the systemic breakdown lies elsewhere: it lies in gross and sheer negligence, failure to anticipate and pre empt and perhaps even corruption. The consequences and brunt of these have to be borne by the hapless public. Be it student exams, the uncharged mobile phones( a life line in this day and age), the faltering Automated teller Machines(ATM’s) which mostly are not working , bearing the brunt of cold weather , dark and damp wintry evenings among other things, it is people who have borne the brunt of the gross negligence and corruption of and within the power department. It is sheer common sense that Kashmir being Kashmir, a region defined by inclement and uncertain weather and climactic conditions would need an anticipatory approach and a pre emptive one especially in essential services like electricity. But, nay, we the people are left at the mercy of events, chance and happenstance. The total breakdown of life by a few inches of freak weather speaks volumes over the nature of the “system” and “governance” here, which too has become politicized and has morphed into patronage and its disbursal, with people being the sufferers in the whole saga. It is high time that a review be carried. A good start would be to take some scalps in the power department, as both a punishment and deterrent and make power supply in Kashmir seamless, streamlined , efficient and effective!