The Weekend Leader - Akali Dal stages protests over power outages in Punjab

Akali Dal stages protests over power outages in Punjab




The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Friday held statewide protests before PSPCL offices in Punjab to highlight the plight of farmers, domestic consumers and industrialists who are suffering because the Congress government "deliberately" withheld eight-hour free supply to farmers besides imposing unscheduled power cuts in urban areas.

The SAD demanded a financial package for paddy farmers who were forced to use diesel generators, besides demanding an immediate reduction in VAT on diesel.

It said if these corrective measures were not taken along with restoration of regular supply of power to farmers as well as the domestic and industrial consumers, the party would 'gherao' the Chief Minister and ministers in the next phase of its agitation.

SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal joined the protests at Lambi, Fazilka and Ghubaya during the course of which he held Chief Minister Amarinder Singh solely responsible for the plight of the people.

He said the Chief Minister had not taken a single review meeting of the power utility to ensure adequate supply of power to paddy farmers, alleging that this was done deliberately to keep the subsidy bill down.

"The Congress government does not want to provide free power to farmers and this is the reason why it is not supplying power when it is needed most."

Standing amongst parched paddy fields in Fazilka, Badal said the government did not make any attempt to ensure timely maintenance of thermal plants which had let to the closure of the Lehra Mohabbat plant as well as closing down of one unit of the Talwandi Sabo plant.

He said in stark contrast during the SAD government tenure, farmers had always received eight hours uninterrupted power supply besides 24 hour supply to the domestic and industrial sectors.

Former minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal participated in sit-in protests in Bathinda city during the course of which she said how the previous SAD government had spent more than Rs 4,000 crore on upgrading the transmission and distribution system.

She also took on the Aam Aadmi Party, claiming that it had not given any practical relief to power consumers in Delhi and had only spent thousands of crores on advertisements.-IANS

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