People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 03

January 19, 2014




CPI(M) Protests Irregular Power Supply, Commodity Shortage


ON January 15, CPI(M) activists staged a huge protest demonstration at Kulgam in South Kashmir against the irregular power supply, dismal functioning of the public distribution system (PDS), scarcity of essential commodities and safe drinking water. 


The protesting activists marched from the Bus Stand to the Mini Secretariat, carrying placards and banners, shouting slogans. The procession culminated in a demonstration and rally at the Mini Secretariat, which was addressed by various party leaders.


Addressing the protesters, CPI(M) leaders said the overall power supply system in the state has become too faulty to cater to the genuine energy needs of consumers. While the whole valley is face to face with a grim electricity scenario, Kulgam district in particular seems to be at the receiving end of this power crisis. Some rural areas of the district receiving erratic power supply are for the most of the time facing numerous problems on account of low voltage, and the people are compelled to arrange alternative sources of illumination, they asserted.


The CPI(M) leaders lamented the failure of the power development department to address the situation that has surfaced due to damaged transformers. The step-down transformers, installed in the rural areas of the district, often develop technical snags and the consumers are left helpless in darkness for weeks together.


On the dismal functioning of the public distribution system, they said that a substantial number of families have been left unregistered with the department of consumer affairs and public distribution, and they are forced to procure the ration from open market at unaffordable prices.


The leaders remarked that ration is being provided to the households on the basis of the 2001 census and the government does not bother about the families that have split since 2001 and need ration. The public distribution system has gone for a toss in the valley and poor people are denied an opportunity to avail the ration, the party leaders said, adding that the government is not in a mood to infuse responsiveness and accountability in its machinery in order to solve the people’s problems.


The protesting activists demanded early restoration of freezed water pipelines so as to ensure smooth supply of safe drinking water. Most of the villages in the district are facing acute shortage of safe drinking water and womenfolk are forced to walk down long distances to fetch water.