Residents of some parts of Chandigarh continued to face power outages on Wednesday morning with electricity supply remaining disrupted after the employees of the electricity department went on a three-day strike against privatisation. Harried residents of Chandigarh, which is the country's first planned city, blamed the city administration for remaining a mute spectator, leaving them in lurch as the power outages crippled the city.
Congress MP from Anandpur Sahib Manish Tewari sought intervention of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the matter, saying there is “chaos and anarchy” and all essential services have come to a standstill. "Dear @AmitShah ji Chandigarh has been without electricity for 36 hours. There is chaos & anarchy. All Essential Services are at a standstill. @ChandigarhAdmn has miserably failed to address the situation. Chandigarh is an Union Territory. Kindly intervene," said Tewari in a tweet on Wednesday.
The Chandigarh administration on Tuesday evening had invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act, banning strikes by the electricity department for six months. There were, however, reports that electricity supply was getting restored at some places. The outage since Monday night forced government hospitals in the union territory to reschedule elective surgeries, besides adversely affecting residential, industrial and commercial areas in the city.
Not only adversely affecting online classes, there was a chaos on roads with traffic lights at many intersections remained non-functional. "I have never seen in my life such an electricity crisis in Chandigarh,” said an elderly resident of Sector 20 here on Wednesday morning. He blamed the city administration for not taking measures to deal with the situation caused by the electricity department employees' strike. Water supply was also hit at some places because of disruption in electricity supply. Another city resident appealed to protesting employees to call off their strike, saying it was the common man who was suffering because of the power outage. Many shopkeepers said their goods like dairy products, poultry and meat products, which need to be refrigerated, have started getting perished.
“Our food items which should be stored in low temperatures are getting perished as there is no electricity,” rued a shopkeeper. The industrial unit owners have also pegged huge losses because of loss of production, caused by power shutdown in industrial areas. Employees of the electricity department, under the banner of the UT Powermen Union, went on a strike on Monday night against UT Chandigarh administration's move to privatise the electricity department. The protesting employees claimed that if the electricity department was privatised, their service conditions would change and it also could lead to a rise in power tariffs.
With PTI Inputs