Sun beats down on powerless residents

  • Shaheen P Parshad and Usmeet Kaur, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: Jun 13, 2014 13:07 IST

While scorching heat refuses to let up, power cuts have returned to haunt the city this summer in “electricity surplus” Punjab.

On top of that, the power-guzzling paddy season is on, giving sleepless nights to domestic consumers. The maximum temperature here on Thursday was 44.4 degrees Celsius and the minimum 23.1°C. Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) claims that the cuts are minimal, yet its fragile, outdated, and overloaded infrastructure is in spotlight again.

The scheduled power cuts are on Mondays usually but the worst are the other weekdays, when the lights go out unannounced for 30 minutes to an hour. In the walled city as well the civil areas of Mall Road, Court Road, Cooper Road, Queen’s Road, Ranjit Avenue and GT Road, it’s the season to curse the electricity department.

In shop s and offices, the length and frequency of the cuts af fect daily business. To make it worse, high-velocity winds on Wednesday evening knocked out power supply in some parts. Thursday was sunny and yet again marred by recurring power cuts.

“The power cuts are short but frequent,” said RTI (Right to Information) activist PC Sharma. “Even inverters fail to perform in this situation,” he added. Load shedding has affected services in various government and private hospitals, where attendants have to carry handheld fans along. Even the supply is of no use, since the air coolers are either out of order or not plugged in. Besides, the waiting lounges have insufficient number of fans.

The summer has just started to peak. The days ahead seem nastier. “There aren’ t many power cuts,” said PSPCL chief engineer (border zone) NK Gandhi, “what occur are because of usual snags in the infrastructure in use currently.”

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