Long outages push Delhi into darkness

New Delhi, Large parts of the national capital plunged into darkness Monday evening with outages lasting for several hours.

Moreover, the blistering heat made life miserable for the residents.

Several localities faced power cuts lasting six to eight hours while Monday's maximum temperature at 45.5 degrees Celsius made it the hottest June 9 in five years.

With no electricity, it was a common sight to see people sitting outside and fanning themselves while cursing the power distribution companies.

"It's like I have travelled back in time. These long power cuts used to happen when I was a kid. I think this is the worst power crisis the city has witnessed in more than a decade," said 26-year-old Ruby Kapoor of west Delhi's Dwarka.

Agreed Anita Singh, a 54-year-old homemaker who had no choice but to sit in a park near her home in south Delhi's Gulmohar Park as the long power cut drained her inverter's batteries.

"I sat for almost three hours in the park with my family as the house felt like a furnace. We even had our dinner there," said an exasperated Anita.

The city is reeling under record sizzling temperatures, and irregular power and water supply have only worsened the situation.

A Congress delegation, led by its Delhi unit chief Arvinder Singh Lovely Monday held Chief Secretary S.K. Srivastava and two other officials hostage for two hours at the Delhi Secretariat here.

The top officials were allowed to go after Srivastava gave a written assurance to improve the situation.

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

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