| Darkness on the streets in Patna on Friday evening. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Large parts of the city plunged into darkness as power employees on Friday proceeded on an indefinite strike to protest against the alleged police brutality.
Sultry weather conditions, coupled with power cut from around 4pm, made the city residents’ life miserable. Almost all prominent areas of the city — Kankerbagh, Gardanibagh, Rajendra Nagar, Kumhrar, Rajiv Nagar, Patliputra Colony, Boring Road, Boring Canal Road, Buddha Colony, Fraser Road, Exhibition Road, Dakbungalow, Station Road, Mahendru, Gai Ghat, Patna City, Shashtri Nagar, Raja Bazaar, Ashiana Nagar, Jagdeo Path and Saguna Mor — witnessed power cut from 4pm. Electricity played hide-and-seek in Rajiv Nagar, Patel Nagar, Ashiana Nagar, Ram Nagri and Kankerbagh.
High humidity — 75 per cent — and a maximum temperature of 35.4°C made life even more difficult for professionals and students in the absence of power. Back home tired, they missed the comfort of fans, coolers and ACs.
“I had a tough time as the power went off as soon as I reached home tired from my office. I thought I would enjoy the news of Narendra Modi’s anointment as the prime ministerial candidate switching the AC on, but my plan went topsy-turvy,” said Rakesh Kumar, an employee at the state secretariat.
Pirmuhani resident and garment shop owner Anirudh Chatterjee said: “I had to close my shop at Lalji Market earlier than the scheduled time because of power crisis. As a result, I incurred loss.”
Vibhuti Pandey, an employee of a private firm, said: “Chief minister Nitish Kumar does not like to be compared either with Gujarat or its chief minister Narendra Modi but the fact is there is no power cut in the western state, our chief minister does not bother to talk to the agitating engineers to resume power supply.”
Nutan, a resident of Rajiv Nagar, said: “The power went off all of a sudden and I could not fill up my water tank. Now I learnt through TV (which runs on inverter) that engineers had gone on strike and the power supply would not be restored today (Friday).”
Power company officials said instructions had been issued to supply power to localities on a rotation basis to ensure water supply was not disturbed.