Kashmir: A handwritten letter to the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, penned down by a 10-year-old boy complaining about the massive power disruptions in the valley, has left the government of the state in a tizzy. The effect has been such, that Governor Satya Pal Malik has directed Kashmir’s Power Development Department (PDD) to take immediate action and set things right in the locality.
In a flawless letter, Haseef, a sixth-class student had complained about the erratic power outages in his locality of Zakura, stating how it adversely affects the studies of students like him.
Tweeted out by his father -- who is a government employee -- the letter went viral and was shared widely by residents and journalists alike. In no time, this powerful letter caught the attention of Raj Bhawan too.
At a time when Malik’s administration is being profusely criticized for massive power cuts, as blizzard-like conditions grip the valley, the state head did not waste a minute to direct the PDD authorities to redress Haseef’s virtual complaint.
Imam ul Haq, who is in-charge of Malik's grievance cell told News 18 that he communicated with PDD chief engineer, Hashmat Qazi to redress the issue forthwith. ''I spoke to the chief engineer and he is on the job,'' he said. Within minutes Haq's office put out a tweet suggesting the Governor was acting seriously to the kid's distress call – something which Haq testified to be true.
Sharing his experience, the ten-year-old Haseef said, ''An uncle called me from the Governor's office and said the problems in your area would be solved.” Haseef added how the unscheduled power cuts ‘‘made me very angry” and so, he decided to express it.''
''Our school teacher has taught us how to write a good letter and here I was doing that,'' said Haseef, who looks visibly happy with the response and attention he received from officials and media.
For the ten-year-old, the ultimate trigger he explains, was a day when there was no electricity for an entire day. ''I became very furious on January 22, when we had no electricity at all for a day. We would spend evenings under lantern looking at each other's face and when its battery fizzled out, we spent rest of the time at the mercy of cellphone lights,'' he sighed.
However, he is pleased with the fact that power has been restored and now, he can get on with his studies. “My brother is in class 10, it’s a crucial year for him,” he said.
Qazi, who is a local engineer, also acknowledged that Zakura faced a power snag. '' By evening we will get it repaired,'' he said. Later his subordinate told News 18 that power has been restored in the area as per schedule.
Qazi pointed out how power supply in winters gets reduced drastically because the low water discharge in rivers generates little, while demand for electricity in Kashmir rises up exponentially.
''Our recorded demand is 1250 megawatts, but in winters because of excessive load it doubles '' he said, adding the state is forced to meet the deficit by importing power from northern grid.
The state's hydro power supply falls to almost one-fourth in the winters and the PDD has to import lakhs of units to line up current for consumers at exorbitant rates. In winters, the performance of PDD is reflective of how good or bad a government rules the state.