A burgeoning economy, a vibrant democracy. But I can’t even get my seven hours of sleep every night, while our elected representatives and the bureaucrats bask in the cool of their air-conditioned bedrooms. Perhaps in the pirated editions of the dictionaries on their dusty shelves the word ‘power’ refers to only the political type.
In the five decades of planning, we have claimed strides in the field of agriculture and industry, but what about the basic fodder required to run those sectors and the rest of the country – Electricity? Most of our existing electricity generating facilities are performing far below the optimum. Distribution losses are exorbitant. Huge infrastructure plans have been drawn up but I don’t recall any major reforms in the power sector, except for the government’s post-liberalisation cure-for-all-ills – privatisation. But the patient doesn’t seem to be getting any better, only the cost of medication is going up.
If localities in the capital (with the obvious exception of the posh and VIP areas) have to go without electricity for more than 10 hours in a day, just imagine what the remote interiors have in stock for them.
I pay my taxes, pay my energy bills in time and follow the laws of the land. But yet I don’t get a good night’s sleep and it’s party time for the mosquitoes. Perhaps because of my fundamental right to vote, which I exercise to elect people who can’t make a difference, perhaps because I have no other choice. Now I’ll make hay when the sun shines and beat them at their own game. I’ll get an inverter and get my rechargeable battery powered sleep while the world around stays awake, powerless.