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'Andhera Kaa'yam Rahae': Electricity Playing Hide and Seek in Kashmir

Electricity Kashmir; Ramadhan one of the holiest month for Muslims is also considered as the month of light. But scenes from Kashmiri

By Babra Wani
New Update
Power cuts in Kashmir impact tourism and industrial sectors

Ramadhan one of the holiest month for Muslims is also considered as the month of light. But scenes from Kashmiri households have a different story to tell.

Kashmiris have been witnessing power cuts during Ramadhan since the year 2020. But like every year, the administration promised of full power supply during this holy month, alas! promises unfulfilled.

Ghulam Nabi, 55, was sitting with his family waiting for iftar when the electricity suddenly went out. He stood up and looked for some candles so they could open their fast.

He told Ground Report, "This has become a routine now. Yimow tujj wanni poweras gaand (they have ruined the electricity here.)" He further added, "Since the past two years electricity is in shambles here. We don't have electricity at the time of our iftar and suhoor. In the blessed month of Ramadhan I think restoring electricity should be the utmost priority of the administration but they seem to have taken us for granted."

He also said that due to the non-availability of electricity it is becoming really difficult for people.

"During Ramadhan people are already tired and when they sit around for iftar and there's no electricity, they are disheartened. On one hand in the beginning of Ramadhan the administration made so many promises that they will provide us with all the necessities and work for our welfare. But on the other hand our bulbs and indicators tell us a different tale. They are actually working on the phrase, andhera kaa'yam rahae," concluded a visibly upset Ghulam Nabi.

In the beginning of Ramadhan the power department assured people that unlike last year, electricity will not be affected during the month of Ramadhan. But they have been proving the otherwise. The untimely power curtailment has affected everyone equally.

Sabira who is a student at SKUAST and lives in a hostel told Ground Report how inconvenient it is for them. "Due to the untimely load shedding and the frequent power cuts we suffer alot. Since I live in a hostel we need a lot of electricity for everything. Due to these power cuts we often end up with no water supply. It is also affecting our prayers. The power cuts also affect our studies as most of the notes are in our gadgets," she said. "Humein padhnae mae bohat mushkil hoti hae, phone mae charge nahi hota. Iftaar kae waqt andhera hota hae. Ajeeb lagta hae sab. (We face many difficulties in studies, at times our phones are not charged. At the time of iftaar there's no light. Everything looks gloomy),” she said with a dejected tone.

There have been massive protests against the power-cuts all across the valley. People have been demanding swift actions from the administration. People also took to different social media platforms to express their anger.

Alleging the UT administration of negligence Mohammad a student said, "At least during the times of Iftar and sehri there should be no power-cuts. Not everyone has an inverter or a generator, people from the low economy background are most affected due to these power-cuts they open their fasts in candle light. Isn't the administration able to see this much at least?" Adding further he said, "Gareeb log beccharae din bhar mehnat kartae haen, lekin shaam kae waqt iftaar kae time pae bhi unko bandobast karna padhta hae roshini ka, (poor people work really hard during the days and even at the evenings they have to look for alternatives of light.)"

Umar Ahmad, a resident of downtown Srinagar, expressed his concerns about the frequent power cuts during the holy month of Ramadan, which make it challenging for them to prepare Iftar and Sehri meals peacefully with their families. Rashida Begum also shared similar problems and mentioned that it is a struggle to cook without electricity.

Mushtaq Ahmad from Omar Abad, Zainakote, reported that there had been no electricity during Sehri and Iftar for the last three days, despite the government's assurance of uninterrupted power supply during Ramadan. He stated that the power situation was better before the start of Ramadan.

Residents of other districts also faced similar issues and were disappointed with the power scenario, as the government failed to ensure uninterrupted electricity during the holy month. Mohammad Yousuf from Awantipora said that it was hard to keep or break the fast without proper electricity supply.

Siraj Ahmad from South Kashmir's Anantnag district expressed his frustration with the power cuts and demanded that the government ensure electricity during Iftar and Sehri. He criticized the government for not fulfilling its promises and failing to provide essential services during the holy month of Ramadan.

Ground Report tried to contact the concerned authorities but the calls were not answered.

However it is pertinent to mention that recently in the city and its outskirts the power department worked hard in installing new poles, wires and electric meters and claimed that there will be an "uninterrupted" power supply during the holy month of Ramadhan, but people have seen the otherwise.

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