Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Indian Blasphemy: Power cuts in Cities and villages in a nuclear country

People have been complaining of power cuts in Bangalore for over a month now. Residents go without electricity 4 to 5 times a day, 1 hour each time. I am privileged, I live in an area close to the well maintained bungalows of ministers and government officials, so I go without electricity for 2 to 3 times in a day, sometimes we even get it back within half an hour!

Recently, my husband went to visit his parents in a little town in the Satara district. At 44 degree celsius, they face a daily power cut of 6 to 8 back to back hours. With temperatures reaching record levels, even the town's people who have been used to such lengthy absences of electricity are finding it difficult to cope with the heat. A few kilometers away, in a village names Supa, his aunt's family faces AT LEAST 12 to 14 hours without electricity everyday. And you can't even call it a REMOTE village. I mean, it is easily accessible by politicians during election time.

This is happening all over India. At such a time, in one of the groups that I am associated with, a question was raised which baffled me a bit. The question was, if I could change any ONE thing about India, what would it be? The replies were about how we need to educate every single Indian, get rid of corruption and red tapism and the usual suggestions. I kept thinking, we are a country with nuclear capabilities, we have some of the greatest brains in the world here and we have thousands of crores of rupees assigned for rural development in our budget. Yet, not only our villages and towns, but even one of our most developed cities doesn't get power 24/7. It seems like a farce, claiming to be on the verge of economic dominance when we can't even provide all our citizens with something as basic as electricity.

There isn't ONE thing that India needs to fix but an entire army of similar half fulfilled duties towards its people. First, provide electricity to even the remotest village before the next elections, PLEASE. Then we can start with the 'developing' part again.

Coming soon: Water shortage :P

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