June 25, 2009

Electricity / Water Conflicts Loom on Horizon

It has been officially admitted that monsoon this year would be below normal . In Punjab delayed / deficient monsoon is creating rifts within society on the crucial issues of " bijli " and " Paani ".

Farmers are in the process of transplanting paddy. They need about 2 inches deep water logged fields. There should have been rains by now. Farmers need electricity in abundance to pump under ground water.

Where as industry circles argue that closure of factories would mean loss vital industrial production and of jobs. Other categories of paid consumers of electricity feel that they should get their money's worth. They are paying exorbitant rates for electricity. Still they face up to 9 hours of power cuts which , now, extend during night time also. A conflict seems to be brewing between paid and free consumers of electricity .

Some paid consumers argue that farmers should be given free diesel and pumps instead of free electricity.

Punjab supplies power to the agriculture sector about 8 hour per day. The state is set to incur losses amounting Rs 1,975 crore per annum at the prevailing domestic rate of 3.68 per unit for a power supply of 2HP to the sector, a study said.

Bhakra Dam authorities have announced that the Dam may have to be shut down because of lack of any substantial inflow. Even in urban Mohallas and colonies people are facing drinking water shortages and there is an undercurrent of discontent. Government should take immediate steps so that no section of the society feels short changed.

No comments: