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Dark & Dry for 36 hours, Chandigarh down on its knees

Parts of Chandigarh have been dark and dry for over 36 hours owing to the strike by electricity department workers. Mayhem rules the well planned city with water supply hit, chaos on roads, surgeries postponed, online classes suspended and more.

The electricity department workers are protesting against proposed privatisation of the department. The protesting employees fear privatisation will change their work terms and also drive up power tariffs.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court intervened yesterday and summoned the Union Territory’s Chief Engineer on Wednesday.

The administration has, in court, accused striking workers of “acts of sabotage”. and have imposed Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) to force employees to return to work.

Army’s Military Engineer Services (MES) was summoned late at night to assist in restoring order. “Leaders of the union are being arrested for violation of the ESMA,” said an official around midnight.

Some normalcy expected by Wednesday evening. Chandigarh is likely to hand over the power utility to private hands by March-end.

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