Friday, July 19, 2024
Editorial

Power woes

Editorial

Successive governments in Nagaland claims it had contributed towards the development of the state. Of course they have contributed and areas of development are distinctly visible. We have much to boast in that regard. The standard of living has gone up and poverty has been reduced to lower level. Literacy has spread and we boast of a high literacy percentage. In education and health services, big strides have been taken. Many new educational institutions, schools and colleges have opened. In science and technology big progress is achieved. These are all palpable signs of new India. However, the story of electric power and supply of drinking water is not bright at all and this sector lags far behind our expectations. To be honest and to be outspoken, these two services have deteriorated year after year and now the situation has reached the brink of chaos. The government comes out with many lame excuses, one after another. Its main counter argument is that we are face to face with population explosion and these services cannot keep pace with the rate of population growth. It is true that population has increased and keeps on increasing. The efforts for population control are proving futile. After the adverse reaction of the people to Sanjay Gandhi’s scheme of population control through family planning, the government got scared to the extent that it has almost abandoned doing anything about it. We know that opposition to Sanjay Gandhi on this count was politically motivated and selfish and mean politicians tried, albeit successfully, to draw mileage out of it. Now it is obvious that there will not be effective control on the rate of growth of population in this country, we need to go with the presumption that there will be increase year after year and as such, it is imperative for the government to plan for the future generations. Energy in the shape of electric power and water are of utmost importance to life. Why has not our state planned at proper time to meet this requirement? We have plenty of water in the state, yet we are hungry for power and for drinking water. This is irony of fate and no logic can explain the contradiction. We do not even know where precisely the problem of shortage of power lies though we are told many fascinating stories of our hydroelectric power generating projects. The entire state is reeling in darkness for the most part of the day or night. This is despite the fact that we don’t have huge industries that consume major chunk of power. Even for household consumption we are not having even regular home lights not to talk of streetlights. Evidently there is trust deficit also at work because the Power Department never tells people the reason why we don’t have sufficient power supply in the state. The condition is worst in the summer. Why does the government fail to understand that power is an essential factor to win public appreciation for the government in power? Obviously, vicious and vested interests are at work. There are rumours of widespread corruption in the department. Many officials have allegedly amassed wealth disproportionate to their legal income. There is alleged nexus between the consumers and the ground staff of the department. The government is often complaining of loss of power during transmission. There is incredible pilferage and that is at the roots of power loss. The condition in rural areas is far worse. They live in darkness despite loud claims of the government of having brought light to every hamlet. As this has become an endemic disease and people are fed up with the system, it is high time that like all major towns in the country that we look at passing on the power department to private sector for running it efficiently and without pilferage. When power situation degenerated in Delhi some years back, the government handed it over to the private sector. This brought about radical change in the entire system. This is the only remedy one can suggest for our electric power woes.

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