Long power outages plagued parts of south and west Delhi on Thursday due to a strike by BSES contractual employees union.
Many localities of Dwarka, Rajouri Garden and Punjabi Bagh in west Delhi and Defence Colony, Gulmohar Park, Saket, Panchsheel Enclave, Sangam Vihar and Badarpur in south Delhi experienced power cuts on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. According to the government, there are complaints of sabotage. Lack of enough hands also meant faults, if any, were not fixed in time.
Power minister Satyendar Jain said, “We have received complaints of disruption and sabotage and the companies have been asked to strongly deal with them. If they have demands that does not mean they will disrupt operations. They will have to restore power at the earliest.”
According to Sunil Sareen, a resident of Sector 19 in Dwarka, there is no power in his locality for more than 19 hours starting Wednesday night. “The BSES customer care numbers need to be checked. We called all night but couldn’t get through. Wonder what will happen in case of any emergency situation like power line leakage or fire,” Sareen said.
Same were the complaints of many other residents of Dwarka, about long power cuts and non responsive help lines. According to a BSES official, there are several ways through which a BSES customer can register their no supply complaints. “These include 24 x 7 Call Centre, Additional Numbers (Till August 31), Mobile App and through SMS. In case of any emergency, apart from the 24 x 7 call centre numbers and other options, consumers are can reach BSES through its emergency numbers (BRPL (toll free number)1800 10 39707, BYPL 41999808), “ he said.
A BSES spokesman said an unrecognised union has called for a strike and illegal disruption of work today. “We have informed Delhi government about this. With active support from majority of our employees and the law enforcing authorities, we are fully geared up to meet any exigency. As a result, we were largely able to ensure smooth power supply to our 38 lakh consumers and their families. However, a few isolated pockets in West and South Delhi were affected for short durations,” the spokesman said.
The contractual employees have demanded 50% salary hike, ‘same work same pay’, conveyance allowance and TA/DA, among others. The government is also working on assuring compensation for public in case of long outages. Last week, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal directed all MLAs to submit complaints on power outages, which last for more than one hour in their areas, to the Delhi government. The government had said it “will ensure” that discoms compensate consumers for these unscheduled power cuts.