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Major electricity blackout in Chandigarh, Army called in: Hospital, businesses, schools, network and water supply hit

Alternate sources of power being searched by telcos as workers of electricity department sit on strike.

Over the past 40 hours, most areas of Changdigarh have no electricity supply which has brought the capital of Punjab and Haryana to its knees with several services such as water supply, telecom towers, traffic lights and medical facilities affected. Lakhs of homes left win blackout.

Besides domestic and institutional consumers, work in commercial and industrial areas of the city also came to a standstill across various sectors.

Worse, people working from home were also left without internet as mobile towers in some localities went out of order due to power failure.

COAI’s comments came as many parts in Chandigarh continued to face power outage on Tuesday, a day after employees of the electricity department launched a three-day strike in protest against privatisation.

Earlier on Monday, February 21, the Chandigarh Powerman Union announced that its members will go on a 72-hours strike against the privatization of the electricity department starting from 11 PM till the next three days further triggering prospects of possible power and water supply breakdown with limited manpower to handle the situation. From visuals across the UT, employees could be seen sitting on the road holding placards and raising slogans.

The Chandigarh administration meanwhile has invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act, banning strikes by the electricity department.

The ESMA will allow the administration to force the employees to return to work. Resistance will invite FIRs and even arrest.

Army’s Military Engineer Services (MES) was summoned late at night when UT failed to restore order on its own. “Leaders of the union are being arrested for violation of the ESMA,” said a UT official around midnight.

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