Congress protests Delhi's water, power crisis; hold top official hostage

Congress protests Delhi's water, power crisis; hold top official hostage

Congress protests Delhi's water, power crisis; hold top official hostage

A Congress delegation led by its Delhi unit chief Arvinder Singh Lovely Monday held Chief Secretary S.K. Srivastava hostage for half-an-hour at the Delhi Secretariat here over the acute power and water crisis in the national capital, according to official sources.

 The top official was later allowed to go after he gave a written assurance to improve the situation.  The Congress leaders, including all its eight elected legislators and senior party leaders, held Srivastava hostage in the conference room of the Delhi Secretariat and did not allow him to go to his fifth-floor office. The Delhi Secretariat is located in central Delhi.

According to the sources, it was at the intervention of other secretaries that the Congress leaders let Srivastava go and agreed to protest outside the government office premises. The Congress leaders allowed Srivastava to leave after he gave a written assurance promising to take remedial measures within 24 hours.

Officials told IANS that the chief secretary in his letter assured that Delhi's power supply will be improved within 24 hours, but also noted that it will take close to 25 days to completely restore the power supply to normalcy. 

The city is reeling under sizzlingly high temperatures, and the situation has been made worse by irregular power and water supply.

Delhi Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung Sunday directed the power companies to announce the schedule for power cuts to people in advance and stop electricity supply to malls after 10 p.m.

"Peak load conditions occur in the city between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. and again from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. So, whenever there is less power supply, the power distribution companies will announce a schedule informing people about the timings when electric supply will be cut," Jung said in a statement after he reviewed the worsening power situation in the national capital.

"Discoms are working out a schedule which will be shared with the public. Also power supply to malls will not be available after 10 p.m.," he said. The meeting was attended by Srivastava, principal secretary (power), senior officers of Delhi Transco Ltd. and chief executive officers of all discoms.

Delhi faces a shortage of 300 to 400 MW everyday, according to the statement.