With the rise in the number of unscheduled power cuts, government schools in rural areas are having a tough time preparing mid-day meal for children, sending e-mails to the education department and teaching students in this hot weather.
Sources said unscheduled power cuts of four to five hours are being imposed daily in various blocks of the district, including Sidhwan Bet, Machhiwara, Jagraon and Samrala.
Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) chief engineer Rashpal Singh, however, said: "There is no problem in any block of Ludhiana as there are no power cuts."
During a visit to Government Primary School, Alamgir, a teacher, on the condition of anonymity, said: "Students have to study without electricity for two to three hours daily in this heat. We are helpless as in the absence of adequate funds we are not able to install any power backup facility at our school. For the past one month, the internet has remained disconnected at our school and we are facing problems in sending data to the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) office and the district education office (DEO). Being a cluster school, we have seven schools under us. In case of emergency, we provide the information over phone or visit the offices to hand over the information in written."
The situation is no different in other schools. The principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Hambowal Bet, said they faced a lot of problems due to power cuts.
"We are not able to send the required information to the DEO or the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) office. For the past one week, power cuts start at 9 am and the power is restored not before 2 pm. We have a generator in our school but we get no funds from the department."
At Government Middle School, Mand Khanpur, Machhiwara, too, there was no power since 9am on Thursday.
An in-charge of a government primary school at Sidhwan Bet, who wished not to be named, said: "There is a power cut in our block from 9 am to 1:30 pm daily and it becomes difficult for teachers to teach. Concentration of students also gets affected. We face the main problem while preparing the mid-day meal, as in the absence of power, water is not available and cooks have to get it from nearby houses to cook the meal. Also, when we have to send any data to the DEO, one of the schoolteachers has to travel to the office."
A visit to the SSA office, too, revealed that the officials were collecting information from schools over the phone. Several schools were complaining that due to power cuts they were not able to send e-mails.
PSPCL chief engineer Rashpal Singh, however, said: "We have surplus power and in the summer, the residents will face no problem."