PSPCL snaps power supply to Dakha villages during Amarinder Singh rally, cites ‘security’

Divya Goyal
CM Amarinder Singh with MP Ravneet Bittu (left) at the road show at Sarabha village in Ludhiana. (Express photo: Gurmeet Singh)

The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) snapped power supply to at least 21 villages in Dakha Thursday for the roadshow of Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh due to “security reasons” and to avoid any untoward incident due to dangling, overhead wires.

This is the CM’s second roadshow to campaign for Congress candidate and his former political advisor Captain Sandeep Sandhu, who is contesting bypoll from Dakha.

On Tuesday, during the first roadshow, there was a major security lapse as the Capt’s turban came off after touching an overhead rope and election publicity material which was hanging down. Mounted on a special election bus, Amarinder was sitting along with Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu and Sandhu when his turban came off. Bittu gave him cover immediately and Sandhu helped him in re-tying his turban.

On Thursday, taking no chances as the CM’s roadshow passed through at least 21 villages including Sarabha, Mohi, Ballowal, Gujjarwal, Jassowal, Jangpur, Raqba, Kular, Khandoor among others, the PSPCL snapped power supply to these villages at least an hour in advance. The power was restored as the roadshow passed each village.

Some villagers said there was no power supply for at least three hours and it was disconnected since morning.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Jagdev Singh Hans, superintending engineer, PSPCL, said that power supply was disconnected due to security reasons and restored immediately as the CM’s convoy would pass a particular village. “In some villages, there are wires dangling overhead. There can be induction even from a distance of 2-3 feet as they pass high voltage current. We disconnected power in all villages from where roadshow passed as no chances could not be taken as CM’s special vehicle was taller than usual and there was a chance that he might come in contact with low-lying wires. It was restored immediately as the convoy passed,” he said. He claimed that power wasn’t disconnected in any village for more than an hour.

People, however, said that the dangling wires have been a constant problem which PSPCL had woken up to only when it came to CM’s security. “Not only overhead wires but even crumbling electricity poles on ground, open meter boxes and naked wires are there in every village where children also play. But PSPCL has never taken remedial action. Today it happened because it was about CM and his security. Security of common people should also be a priority for PSPCL not just CM,” said a villager from Jassowal.