Post by RK News on Monday, October 24, 2022
With the onset of winter in Kashmir, acquisition and management of energy requirements is a common discussion in every Kashmiri household. This has always been a norm in Kashmir as soon as winter announces its arrival. Sometimes authorities are often caught unaware when a crisis emerges and as a result the response is not as effective as it should be. Most of the times in the wake of snowfall, the administration usually remains preoccupied with road clearance, restoration of electricity and availability of essential commodities. There is also an urgent need of keeping eye on hoarders, black-marketers and unscrupulous elements who utilize the unfavorable weather conditions for increasing the prices and creating false scarcity of essentials. Regular market checking is important in this regard. Special checking squads should be constituted so that the sub-standard and adulterated food items are checked. People should also share the responsibility and be extra careful with the food and exposure to cold. Lately, there has been lot of information disseminated on contaminated and unhygienic food. Talking about the adulterated food, the authorities sleeping over the critical issue and in the absence of reliable testing facilities, widespread health risks stare at the valley during winters. Unfortunately, the authorities entrusted with the job of checking the quality of food seem oblivious to these concerns. Their unpreparedness to meet any eventuality only adds to the fears. Absence of proper monitoring allows erring traders to go scot-free. The concerned officials should conduct public information campaigns so that the traders do not take the consumers for granted. Market checking squads, who otherwise largely remain invisible for the rest of the year, make customary appearances on the eve of festivals only. This ‘show of presence’ goes vain as unscrupulous traders still manage to evade punishment. Back to the winter problems, the administration needs to be in a mode of alertness around the year. It needs to strengthen the operational functionaries at all levels and enhance capacity building. In the wake of heavy snowfall, essential services like electric supplies, water supply and telecom/communication system often break down. In this regard, Government and the concerned departments should review the winter preparedness every week and must ensure stock and supply position of essential commodities in the far flung and snow bound areas of the valley. The most robust and effective way of keeping such services functional through a natural hazard is to devise a comprehensive strategy that can withstand any eventuality during the winter season.