Unscheduled power cuts ranging from eight to 10 hours are being imposed on the domestic and industrial sector across the Doaba region.
On Thursday night and during daytime on Friday, many areas, especially rural segments, remained without power in Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr) and Kapurthala districts.
Jalandhar city is reeling under the power crisis, with the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) imposing 6-8 hours’ cuts. In Gorya and Phagwara towns, there was no power throughout Thursday night in many areas.
As per reports from Kapurthala, power supply in rural areas is being provided in half-hour instalments. “There is power for half an hour, followed by a cut of two hours. It’s a routine practice,” said Shaminder Singh, a shopkeeper from Sultanpur Lodhi (Kapurthala).
In Jalandhar, areas such as Model Town, Green Model Town, Guru Nanak Pura, Chhoti Baradari,
Indra Park, Ladowali Road, Preet Nagar and Adarsh Nagar witnessed power cuts lasting five to six hours on Thursday and Friday.
Farmers are unhappy with the PSPCL for its failure to provide eight-hour uninterrupted supply. Surinder Singh, a resident of Singhpur village (Jalandhar), said there was just five-hour supply and that too in shifts. “Paddy sowing has been hit hard. The PSPCL has betrayed the farming community by not fulfilling the promise of providing eight-hour power during the paddy season,” rued farmers.
The PSPCL has also imposed regulatory measures on the industry. The corporation’s move on Friday to increase peak load hours to a 12-hour duration has come as a shocker for the industry.
Because of the withdrawal of the peak load exemption, the industry would not be able to operate from 8pm to 8am.
Gursharan Singh, president of the Jalandhar Handtool Industry, lamented that the industry was set to suffer heavy losses due to the power regulatory measures. “The industry is already facing a slump. Due to these power cuts, production has come down. There are around 500 furnace units working in Jalandhar and they would be hit the hardest,” he said.
PSPCL deputy chief engineer, Jalandhar, Gopal Sharma accepted that unscheduled power cuts up to five hours had been imposed in the region.