Press Trust of india

Long power cuts, severe heat conditions leave Jammu citizens exasperated

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Jammu, May 31: Long power outages and searing heat conditions have left citizens of Jammu exasperated.

The Santra Morh-Hazuribagh-Anandnagar-Bohri belt is the worst affected region in Jammu division, where locals say they are getting electricity for less than eight hours daily.

"The power demand of Jammu province has increased beyond its allotment. As a result, the department has resorted to short duration, unscheduled curtailments during peak load hours," Chief Engineer, PDD, Jammu, Sudhir Gupta said.

Hundreds of locals in Bohri protested against the power cuts on Friday. They burnt effigies of the Jammu and Kashmir government and alleged wrongdoing on part of the Power Distribution Department (PDD).

The protestors blocked the Bohri Road and raised anti-government and anti-PDD slogans, demanding privatisation of the sector.

Later, they also burnt an effigy of the PDD Chief Engineer.

The maximum temperature was recorded above 40 degree Celsius for the fifth straight day on Friday in Jammu.

Chief Engineer Gupta said the general public has been alerted that in case power overload condition persists, power curtailment in unmetered areas shall continue for seven hours a day, while in metered areas there it will be one hour rotational power cut.

"We receive power for hardly seven to eight hours when the temperature has gone upto nearly 44 degrees Celsius. Our families are battling with their lives in such hot conditions," said Kuldeep Kumar, a resident of Santara Morh.

Locals alleged PDD engineers and officials are in cahoots with power thieves, who are using more electricity than is allotted to their region.

They alleged that their colonies were always discriminated compared to posh localities like Gandhinagar, Channi, Bhatindi, Sidhra, Sunjwan, Narwal, Roopnagar, Parade, Satwari, Gangyal, Bakshinagar, Janipur.

"We urge the governor to intervene into the matter to relieve us from power cuts of 15 hours," Santam Choudhary, another local, said.

The maximum temperature in the city crossed the 40-degrees Celsius mark last week for the first time this season and it is on the rise since then, touching 43.6 degrees Celsius yesterday, the highest in the month of May over the past three years, the Met department said.

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