In a glaring example of the urban-rural divide, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has round-the-clock complaint centres catering to domestic consumers in cities, but there is no such 24-hour facility for villagers.
The centres in villages across the state register complaints about disruption of power supply only between 9am and 5pm. If any fault in the supply line occurs after 5pm, villagers have to wait till the next day for lodging their complaint. This practice has been in place for the past several years, forcing people in rural areas to spend sleepless nights.
Sukhwinder Singh, a resident of Dhogri village in the district, told HT that whenever power supply was disrupted, there was no provision to rectify the fault immediately. “The situation worsens in the summer, as the load on the supply line increases drastically,” he lamented.
Ramesh Kumar of Musapur village said they occasionally had to wait for two days for the restoration of power supply as employees did not come promptly to rectify the fault.
The chief engineer, North Zone, PSPCL, SS Sarna admitted that the problem prevailed in villages across Punjab. Citing staff shortage, he said they could provide employees at complaint centres for villages only between 9am and 5pm. He said they could operate 24-hour complaint centres in cities as there was a greater number of connections in a lesser area.