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Power Crisis: Cong MLAs Lock Up Delhi Chief Secy in Office

File-PTI Photo/Shahbaz Khan

As a large number of areas continued to face long outages, Congress MLAs and leaders today locked Delhi Chief Secretary SK Srivastava in his room for over one-and-a-half hours, demanding immediate improvement in the supply of power and water in the national capital.

The Congress leaders locked the Chief Secretary from inside his room and did not allow him to move till he gave a written assurance that Delhi government will make all efforts to improve power supply in the city.

As some MLAs, including DPCC chief Arvinder Singh Lovely, blocked the doors of the Chief Secretary's room, some others sat on 'dharna' outside his office, raising slogans against the government.

The Congress workers accused the Delhi government of "total failure" in providing electricity to the people and said the issue is being handled in an "insensitive" manner.

"The Delhi government has failed miserably in supplying power and water to the people in this sweltering heat. Congress will step up the agitation if the situation does not improve. There was round-the-clock electricity supply when we were in power," said DPCC Chief Spokesperson Mukesh Sharma.

Sharma said Lt Governor Najeeb Jung has not shown any seriousness in addressing the power and water problem.

Lovely blamed BJP and AAP for the situation and said Congress would not let Delhi become like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

"We are calling off our protest as the Chief Secretary has assured us of making all efforts to improve power supply in Delhi. If power supply does not improve within the next 24 hours, Congress MLAs and party workers will stage a protest outside the LG Secretariat on Wednesday," Lovely said.

Attacking Kejriwal, Lovely said that had the AAP leader made a summer action plan for power supply when he was the Chief Minister, the situation would not have gone out of hand.

He said Congress was not doing politics on power and water issues.

"Officials are blaming the recent thunderstorm for the worsening situation of electricity and water in the national capital. I want to tell them that 148 thunderstorms were reported during the time of the Congress-led government, but there was never a situation like this before," Lovely said.

Large parts of Delhi continued to face long outages as the power transmission network damaged by the devastating storm on May 30 is yet to be restored fully.

Snapping of power supply to shopping malls after 10 PM and switching off of streetlights during peak hours were some of the urgent measures ordered yesterday by the Lt Governor as temporary steps to deal with the situation.

People in many areas had a harrowing time in the sweltering heat as the power cuts ranged from one to six hours. The mercury has been hovering around the 45 degrees Celsius mark in Delhi over the last few days.

Sharma also attacked the NDA government, saying as Delhi was under President's rule, it is the responsibility of the Centre to address issues affecting the city.

The Congress MLAs and ex-MLAs also raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "not paying heed to the power situation".

"Over one crore people of Delhi have been facing water and electricity scarcity, but nothing is being done by either the LG or the central government. Are these the 'good days' as promised by BJP.

"We will not allow the Chief Secretary to leave (his office) till he gives us a written assurance on these two issues," Sharma had said.

Appealing to Delhiites to bear with the situation, the Lt Governor had yesterday asked them to help conserve energy by running their air-conditioners at 25 degrees or above and take every measure at home and office to save electricity.

It was also decided that high-mast halogen street lamps, which consume more power, will be switched off during night peak hours to conserve energy.

Government establishments, including Delhi Secretariat and other government offices, universities and colleges have been advised to switch off air conditioning between 3.30 and 4.30 PM to conserve power during day peak hours.

This does not include emergency services and critical institutions such as hospitals.

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PLACES: Delhi
SECTION: National
OUTLOOK 09 June, 2014
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