Amritsar, January 7
Long duration power cuts, at times lasting six to 10 hours, have become painful for those living in rural areas. They complain power outages have affected their life in many ways during the intense cold.
Even residents in the city too are troubled by unscheduled power cuts, but frequency and duration of power outages is greater in rural areas. Gurjit Kaur, a resident of Cheema village in the border belt, said, “For the last few days, power cuts have become a routine affair. If most of the household works depend on machines run by electricity, it has become very difficult to operate them.” She said power was usually off when they woke up and the supply was resumed only by afternoon.
The residents stated that thankfully, the government had announced holidays in schools in advance. “With no hot water in the morning to carry out daily chores and for bathing, one cannot even imagine waking up children and sending them to school,” rued another homemaker Sukhpreet Kaur. She said water in the overhead tanks was nearly frozen and even brushing the teeth with such cold water was an uphill task.
The residents quipped that with the available power supply, most households would not be able to utilise more than 600 units, which have been made free of cost.
“The power consumption during the intense cold months is the same as during the peak summer days as people use water geysers and room heaters. With no power supply available, most elderly people are not able to stay comfortable as they cannot use room heaters,” said another resident Kewal Singh.
Farmers too complained that electricity for tubewell connections was sometimes provided during night. They stated that power supply for the tubewells should be made available for a fixed-period duration during the day so that they could irrigate their fields and complete other tasks on time. The residents stated that the government also had a responsibility to ensure regular and uninterrupted power supply as electricity is a necessity these days.