Electric supply in many areas of the Jammu division was restored in the early morning on Monday by engineers of the Army who were called in by the administration as employees of the power development department (PDD) continued their three days old agitation against privatisation of the power sector.
The Army was called out last evening as the Jammu region reeled under severe cold conditions and people further suffering due to the absence of electric supply.
Army engineers took charge of the grid stations and started restoring the power supply in the affected areas.
Several areas of the Union Territory witnessed electricity outages as linemen to senior engineers began their indefinite strike on Saturday against the government’s decision to privatise the sector. Some far-flung areas were without electric supply for the past three days.
The Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Raghav Langar, made desperate attempts to persuade the employees to withdraw the agitation in view of the adverse climatic conditions but they refused to listen as a result of which the Army was called out.
Reacting to the deployment of the Army, the former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah said “there is no bigger admission of failure for a civilian administration than to call upon the army and it means a total breakdown of governance has been accepted by the J&K government”.
PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti said; “Bringing the Army into such matters has further exposed their fake good governance narrative & ensure that people here live in perpetual fear of the jackboot. Such harebrained tactics & policies will only deepen the sense of alienation & suffocation that people of J&K feel”.
Meanwhile, the administration
has engaged in several rounds of talks with the Coordination Committee of the Power Employees.
During each round of talks, the government representatives have appealed to the power employees to call off their strike as people in both Jammu and Kashmir divisions were suffering, said an official spokesman.