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Long powercuts cripple normal life in Mohali

Summers are more than a month away but powercuts have already started crippling the normal life in Mohali and Kharar.

Written by Nitin Jain | Mohali |
February 5, 2009 1:01:50 am

Kharar goes without power for 10 hours; residents plan protest

Summers are more than a month away but powercuts have already started crippling the normal life in Mohali and Kharar. Both the places have been going without electricity for six to eight hours daily for the last few days. On Wednesday,in fact,parts of Kharar witnessed 10-hour cuts.

While the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) had officially confirmed daily powercuts up to seven hours in the urban areas of the state due to a crisis,the locals complain that the power remains off for longer periods.

“What irks the most is that there is no fixed schedule of the cuts,” said Anushka,a resident of Phase V,Mohali.

“The PSEB should immediately cut by half the rentals charged from consumers. The supply remains off half the time,” argued Rajesh Gupta,a leading lawyer.

Local PSEB officials shrug off the responsibility and attribute the powercuts to the orders of the ‘power controller’ in Patiala. “We get instant calls,ordering us to switch off the power,” reasoned a local official,pleading anonymity and expressing helplessness in passing on information of the cuts in advance.

The PSEB chairman had on Monday announced that to ensure seven-hour daily power supply to tubewells for irrigation purposes in rural areas,which are fed free,the urban areas would be subjected to seven-hour daily cuts.

“What is the logic? Those who are being charged heavily are being deprived of power to facilitate free consumers,” questioned an irritated Surinder Kumar,a trader,attributing the decision to “vote politics”.

“If this is the situation now,what will happen during the summers,” feared Ravinder Kaur,a homemaker.

PSEB officials gave contradictory statements on the reason behind the 10-hour cut — from 6 am to 4 pm — in Kharar on Wednesday. Senior Executive Engineer P S Bains confirmed that a cut was imposed from 7.05 am to 7.35 am and then from 11 am to 4 pm,but he said he was not aware of the reason behind the cuts during the rest of the time. On the other hand,Sub-Divisional Engineer (City) Harbans Singh said a local fault caused the power failure.

Rahul,a resident of Kharar,said the prolonged powercuts had rendered the inverters useless,while the use of generators for long durations was burning a big hole in the pockets of the consumers.

“We will soon hold a massive protest in front of the PSEB office by lighting candles,if the situation does not improve forthwith,” threatened a social activist,Ashwani Kumar. A law student,Mehak,asked the PSEB to admit its failure and come on record to ask the residents to make their own arrangements to meet power requirements in the summers.

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