Unscheduled power cuts that stretch for hours have affected normal life in this agriculture-dominated district, where the day temperature is about 45 degrees Celsius and monsoon is deficient.
In the absence of rainfall, the demand for electricity has shot up in both agriculture and domestic sectors, so Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) is forced to impose these unscheduled power cuts. People blame the Akali government that promised them a power-surplus state. “In less than two months after the Lok Sabha elections, they have run short of electricity,” said Rupinder Singh, a domestic consumer from Sangrur.
“Out of 24 hours in a day, the supply is interrupted for 10,” said housewife Sukhdeep Kaur. Asked to react, Sangrur subdivisional officer (city) Subhash Chand said: “Uninterrupted supply is not in my hands; we have to impose cuts since we have directions from the power controller. Besides, if there is no electricity to supply, what can we do.”
The PSPCL has also failed to ensure uninterrupted supply to the agriculture sector. Asked if there would be any relief in the days to come, SDO (rural) Hemraj said: “I don’t see any; only the rain can help.”
For the past five days, the electricity supply to the agriculture sector had reduced to less than four hours a day, and that too was irregular, said farmer Naresh Kumar. “We request to the government for at least eight hours of continuous supply every day to save our crops,” he added.