Delhi drama: Congress leaders act tough after the officials fail to give convincing answers
New Delhi : As the national capital reels under sweltering heat with frequent power outages and water crisis, a Congress delegation led by its Delhi unit chief Arvinder Singh Lovely on Monday held Chief Secretary S K Srivastava and two other officials hostage for two hours at the secretariat.
The top officials were later allowed to go after Srivastava gave a written assurance to improve the situation.
The Congress leaders, including all its eight elected legislators and senior party leaders, held Srivastava and two others – power secretary Arun Goel and urban development secretary Rajendra Kumar – hostage in the conference room of the secretariat located in central Delhi.
The leaders had come to meet Srivastava on the issue of water and power crisis. Later, they held the other two officials captive too when their answers failed to impress them.
At 45.5 degrees Celsius, Monday was the hottest day on June 9 in five years and also the hottest day of the season. A Congress leader told IANS that they decided to hold the secretary and other officials hostage as they were not convinced with the reply given to them by them.
After the intervention of other senior secretaries and a written assurance promising to take remedial measures within 24 hours, the Congress leaders let Srivastava and other two secretaries go and agreed to protest outside his office.
“We will protest on the roads, and, if needed, will also protest outside the prime minister’s residence,” he said. Officials told IANS that the chief secretary in his letter assured that Delhi’s power supply will improve within 24 hours, but it will take close to 25 days to completely restore the supply to normalcy.
The city is reeling under record extreme temperatures, and the situation has been made worse by irregular power and water supply.
“We have never seen such irregular power supply. There is no schedule for power cuts for us to prepare accordingly,” Abha Sharma, resident of Dwarka in west Delhi, said.
“When we are paying our electricity bills on time, why are we not getting adequate electricity,” asked Subhash Kashyap, a member of Mayur Vihar residents’ welfare association.
Union power minister Piyush Goyal said Delhi was facing acute power crisis as it had not invested on its transmission and distribution in the past 10 to 15 years.
“We have surplus power… I am ready to give as much power as Delhi requires, but Delhi has not invested in the last 10-15 years on transmission and distribution, so the country today, and particularly Delhi, is facing a situation of having power, but not being able to distribute it to the people,” said Goyal.
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party also appealed to the central government and the city administration not to test the patience of the people in this scorching summer.
It said the protests by people in some parts of the city were a sign of the growing discontentment against the lack of electricity and water.