It is the eighth night since electricity supply is Kullu collapsed. During the day some small teams struggle to put back the electric lines on poles with hopelessly outdated equipment. The cold limits the effective working time to four or five hours. People, without any alternative to space heating, shiver inside homes, mobile phones remain un-charged and internet is down. Food spoils in refrigerators and candles are being sold in the black market. The worst part is that nobody in authority is answerable.
Can one imagine an urban area (besides numerous villages) of over fifty thousand people remaining in darkness and being in the dark about any information when electricity will be restored? In any country where the governments are answerable to the people this would have been declared a disaster.
But here one can do little except write to HillPost, hoping that one’s voiceless complaint may attract the attention of some Narender Modi or a High Court Judge.
We have been hearing for several years now of the setting up of Disaster Management Cells (DMCs) both at State and district level. Like much else one is unaware whether these cells exist only on paper. In the present case this would appear so; since there is no word, nor even a whimper from them. This prolonged darkness in Kullu could have provided an excellent opportunity to DMCs to help restore the fallen electric lines within reasonable time. One shudders to think that with all this paraphernalia if it takes a whole week to restore electricity in an urban area what would happen if even a moderate intensity natural disaster like an earthquake were to hit?
Meanwhile, as the short cold day in Kullu quickly passes away the hapless residents stoically resign themselves to another long, icy cold dark night.