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Sukhbir’s ‘coronation’ over, power cuts back in Punjab
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 22
Uninterrupted power supply, ensured by the state yesterday ostensibly to let the people witness the “sonrise” at Amritsar, proved to be a one-day wonder with the state remaining powerless for several hours during the day.

Things were back to “normal” this morning with the PSEB reverting to its load-shedding schedule with people raising a hue and cry.

A cross-section of the people said the state had pulled a “fast one” on them yesterday. “If round-the-clock power could be ensured to enable people to watch the swearing-in ceremony of the Deputy Chief Minister, there is no reason why power cannot be arranged to put the economy, that had been hit by crippling cuts, on the rails.

Entrepreneur SK Sharma said “we have been crying hoarse that the state should do something to reduce power cuts so that the industry can run on full capacity, but to no avail. In the absence of power, we are forced to keep our units shut for more than two days a week. Even then, shifts are running at half the strength.”

Sharma’s sentiments are echoed by others like Parminder Singh who said that his forging unit was running for three days a week. “Our business is on the brink of ruin and the global meltdown has made the scenario grim for our fraternity.”

Both of them demanded that the PSEB chairman should go on record and explain how the state could manage to provide uninterrupted power yesterday and not as a matter of routine.

The state was befooling them by claiming that they were returning power borrowed from other states. “We think the state is selling power to tide over the current financial mess,” they pointed out.

Similarly, housewives like Seema and Loveleen Kaur of Model Town minced no words in saying that the the state was going by political considerations and was least bothered about the masses.

Meanwhile, a senior functionary of the PSEB said they had directions from the top to ensure round-the-clock power supply to enable the masses to watch the swearing-in of Sukhbir.

Managing uninterrupted power for a day is not a big deal and the Central Load Despatch Centre at Patiala did the needful. Power supply to tubewells was segregated and staggered during the ceremony, he disclosed.

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