Scarcity Of Essentials Spark Protests In Valley

Srinagar – Patience of people is wearing thin over the shortage of electricity, cooking gas and drinking water as reports of street protests have been pouring in from various parts of the valley. And, true to its track record, the National Conference-led coalition government has chosen to look the other way while the people suffer.

With the mercury coming down sharply over the past couple of days, the situation is worsening by the day. Beginning with the outlandish cap on subsidized cooking gas, the government announced a drastic cut in power supply particularly for the non-metered areas of the valley while persisting with its arbitrary unscheduled curtailment all over, including metered localities.  

In absence of adequate power supply, reports said, people used to fall back upon LPG both for cooking and heating. But, because of the cap on subsidized cylinders and the hoarders and profiteers having a field day, thanks to the lax law enforcement agencies, people in this capital city and elsewhere in the valley have been facing countless hardships with the prospect of even endangering their lives.

Meanwhile, scarcity of drinking water has also been reported from several areas. People took to streets at Shahgund in Sumbal area of north Kashmir’s Bandipore district as they were facing acute scarcity of water. They have been forced to draw contaminated water from various sources which has led to incidence of water-borne diseases.

Reports said the protesters blocked movement of vehicular traffic for several hours. Led by Peoples Democratic Party activist, Yasir Reshi, they staged a sit-in at the tehsil headquarters to demand adequate water supply in the area. “Since 1975, the successive governments have failed to provide for a water supply scheme for the area. Although the people made repeated pleas to the administration officials, no action was taken to address the problem,” they said.

Although the tehsildar assured the protesters of early steps to redress their grievance, the protesters warned of intensified demonstrations in case the government failed to take concrete steps to mitigate their sufferings. (KNS)

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