NC Rues ‘Backdoor Entry’ Of Power Reforms, Calls For Taking All Stakeholders On Board

SRINAGAR: National Conference on Monday called out the government for introducing privatization of power grid reforms through the backdoor, saying that there is no basis to rush through it without taking the concerned power employees and engineers on board.

The one-shot idea of the incumbent JK Government seems to never waste an opportunity to stream roll reforms with fundamental changes as is being done by the incumbent administration bypassing the concerns of the PDD engineers and employees. “There is no basis to rush through the reforms discounting the vital interests of the concerned engineers and employees and for that matter the consumers as well. The ongoing stalemate could have been evaded, had the incumbent government deliberated upon the reforms with all stakeholders,” he said.

Emphasizing factoring in the concerns of the JKPDCL employees and socioeconomic complexities of Jammu and Kashmir, Imran said that failure of the experiment of unbundling and corporatisation in other States has had the concerned employees and engineers on tenterhooks. “The consumers are also at a loss because of the fallout of the continuing stalemate,” he added.

Contending the manner in which the reforms are being rushed through, Imran stated that simple solutions like privatizing the power sector is no panacea for the ailing power sector in Jammu and Kashmir. He said that Himachal Pradesh has integrated Utility HBSEB Ltd with Generation, Transmission & Distribution altogether. “HPSEB Ltd is a successful model of Power Sector to emulate. The hilly state has not supplanted custom made solutions to fix issues that ails its the power sector. Contrarily and rightly so, the neighbouring state, whose geography and climate correlates to that of ours, has tailor-made solutions to fix its power sector.  The subsequent results also speak for themselves. HP has the highest household/consumer coverage ratio in the country i.e. about 98% as per REC’s survey & they have been adjudged one of the best Board’s in the country.  Kerala has also integrated Utility KSEB Ltd. Such models should have been deliberated upon. Ideally, it is for popular governments and empowered legislatures to decide over such issues that have bearing on people. Here the situation is exactly opposite,” he said.

The decision, Imran noted, has caught the concerned employees and Engineers unawares. Calling for an immediate need to end the impasse, he further said that employing an army to run power grids is unheard of.

“The adamant attitude of the government will only compound the woes of consumers. We are amidst a cold wave. By driving employees into a corner, the LG administration will get nowhere. Govt should therefore shun the path of confrontation and enter into a dialogue with protesting employees and put on hold the decision until a mutually acceptable decision is reached,” he added.

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