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Congressman protests Delhi power crisis. With Coolers and Fans

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As Delhi grapples with soaring temperatures and huge blackouts, a Congress law-maker is on a fast in a tent in south-west Delhi in protest. Coolers and fans whir around him in the tent he is using for his demonstration.

When asked about that, Jai Kishan, the state legislator from Sultanpuri, offered no answer.

Daily blackouts are pulverizing the capital in a summer of record-breaking heat. Angry residents in North Delhi held violent demonstrations last night as frustration mounts over power cuts – a bus and a police jeep were damaged.

The union government has promised the crisis will be resolved in two weeks. Too long, says the Aam Aadmi Party, which governed Delhi for 49 days at the start of this year till Arvind Kejriwal resigned as Chief Minister in February.

Mr. Kejriwal had slashed electricity prices by 50 per cent during his brief term, alleging that distribution companies in Delhi were over-charging customers.

Yesterday, union Power Minister Piyush Goyal said that three major transmission lines which were damaged during a recent thunderstorm in the capital will be fixed in 10 days. However, he also warned that dilapidated power grids cannot cope with the extra electricity needed to meet demand in this scorcher of a summer.

“Clearly the power grid as it stands today is outdated, it needs augmentation and modernisation and may repeatedly have outages and tripping problems,” the minister said, blaming the inadequate infrastructure on the Congress, which governed Delhi for 15 years till it was decimated in December’s election.