Regular power, Water supply still a distant dream for seven lakh Jammu residents

Grappling with drinking water shortage and regular power outages, Jammu is a living nightmare for its 7 lakh residents in the blistering heat.

About 45 years after the first Master Plan (1974) was framed for Jammu, crores of rupees have been ‘invested in modernising basic infrastructure’ but the power development department (PDD) and the public health engineering (PHE) department have been unable to ensure regular supply, exposing the deep-rooted corruption and poor executions of projects.

About 7 lakh people live within the core city area, falling under the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC), and a total of 15 lakh people live in Jammu district.
“Power and water are two necessities and if the government cannot provide these sufficiently, something is seriously wrong with our administrative system. Nobody seems accountable for these,” said Pankaj Khajuria, a social activist from Bishnah.

The government has failed to increase the capacity of the grid stations and distribution network. Power requirement of the entire Jammu region in summers is about 1,400 MW but the PDD is providing only 950 MW.

Similarly, drinking water requirement within the Jammu municipal limits is 65 million gallon daily (MGD), but the PHE department is able to provide only 50 MGD, forcing the authorities to curtail the water supply.

A majority of city areas face drinking water shortage. Some colonies get water after two to three days while others get supply daily but just for 30 minutes.

“One shudders to think what will be the condition of Jammu after a decade. The distribution network does not have the capacity to carry additional load, resulting in repeated outages and curtailment,” said Advocate Amarvir Singh Manhas, who has been highlighting issues of the Jammu region at various forums.

As per the Master Plan 2032, metropolitan limits were expected to spread over an area of 652.33 sq km, including the whole Municipal Corporation of Jammu and municipal committees of Ghomanhasan, Bishnah, Bari Brahmana and Vijaypur.

Huge gap between demand and supply
Power requirement of the entire Jammu region in summers is about 1,400 MW but the PDD is providing only 950 MW
Drinking water requirement within the Jammu municipal limits is 65 million gallon daily (MGD), but the PHE department is able to provide only 50 MGD, forcing the authorities to curtail the water supply
A majority of city areas face drinking water shortage. Some colonies get water after two to three days while others get supply daily but just for 30 minutes