My generation has not seen and experienced uninterrupted 24-hour electricity supply in Varanasi.
It had become so common that we had left complaining. Those who could afford alternative arrangements of power generation were in green zone.
Those who could not became accustomed to a life juggling between the regular in and out hours of electricity visibility.
Though the official line maintained the outage quote of 4 to 6 hours, the average happened to 8 to 10 hours. During the days of peak demand, it used hover around 15 hours a day.
Then there were hours and days of no electricity owing to the problems known as ‘local faults’ including distribution wires problems, transformer breakdown and low voltage.
And that was normal. The problem was taken to an extent (by the governing governance) that it ceased to be a problem in the India’s most populous state where development was not an electoral issue, until the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The huge BJP surge wiping out the BSP and restricting the SP and the Congress just to the family seats tells us development was a major factor in the polls and people voted for the BJP expecting Narendra Modi to deliver on the development promise. The trend tells people’s patient is reaching to its tipping point.
But that doesn’t mean that it is going to change the functional priorities (though none defined could be located) of the SP government led by Akhilesh Yadav, at least, this much we can say with the state government’s careless and insensitive response on crime against women in the wake of the gruesome Badaun gangrape and murders.
And on the expected line, another controversy is raging in Uttar Pradesh – the state government discriminating against the areas that voted against the ruling party increasing the power supply outage hours in many cities after May 16 when the poll results came out.
And Varanasi was one of the target cities as reported.
So, the news that ‘the state government has made the city power cut free’ came as a surprise. Though the veteran BJP MLA Shyam Deo Roy Chaudhary was on an indefinite fast for 24-hour power supply, we can rightly say that it was the Modi effect that pushed the state government to act after Modi’s swift action on planning and implementation of development oriented promises for his constituency made during the election.
The response was more of a face-saving exercise on continued apathy with Varanasi, the spiritual and religious capital of Hinduism and India and one of the most visited tourism destinations globally.
Yes it was the #ModiEffect, we need to accept – 24 hour electricity supply to #Varanasi – something that our generation has not seen and experienced – let’s hope it has no riders and has the ‘uninterrupted’ clause in built.
It is true mere ordering a round the clock electricity supply to Varanasi doesn’t ensure a round the clock delivery. The power distribution infrastructure is in shambles and the city is witnessing increased reports of ‘local faults’ leading to long hours of power cut.
But, let’s hope the Modi effect will take care of it as well, and soon. Modi sounds honestly serious about Varanasi’s future and we can bank on him for this as well.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/