JAMMU Friday was the hottest day of the season in Jammu so far as the mercury soared in the city, with the maximum temperature touching 44 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature in the city settled at 26.8 degrees Celsius, a notch below the normal, a spokesperson of the meteorological department said.
Searing heat conditions, along with long power outages, left the citizens of the city exasperated.
After remaining several degrees below the normal till last week, temperatures in the Jammu and Kashmir’s winter capital have spiralled over the past few days.
The maximum temperature on Thursday, Wednesday and Tuesday was 43.6, 42.8 and 41.1 degrees Celsius, respectively.
Katra, the base camp for pilgrims visiting the Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district, was the second hottest place in the city on Thursday, with a high of 40.2 degrees Celsius, the spokesperson said.
Long power outages and searing heat conditions have left citizens of Jammu exasperated.
The Santra Morh-Hazuribagh-Anandnagar-Bohri belt is the worst affected region in Jammu division, where locals say they are getting electricity for less than eight hours daily.
“The power demand of Jammu province has increased beyond its allotment. As a result, the department has resorted to short duration, unscheduled curtailments during peak load hours,” Chief Engineer, PDD, Jammu, Sudhir Gupta said.
Hundreds of locals in Bohri protested against the power cuts on Friday. They burnt effigies of the Jammu and Kashmir government and alleged wrongdoing on part of the Power Distribution Department (PDD).
The protestors blocked the Bohri Road and raised anti-government and anti-PDD slogans, demanding privatisation of the sector.
Later, they also burnt an effigy of the PDD Chief Engineer.
The maximum temperature was recorded above 40 degree Celsius for the fifth straight day on Friday in Jammu.
Chief Engineer Gupta said the general public has been alerted that in case power overload condition persists, power curtailment in unmetered areas shall continue for seven hours a day, while in metered areas there it will be one hour rotational power cut.
“We receive power for hardly seven to eight hours when the temperature has gone upto nearly 44 degrees Celsius. Our families are battling with their lives in such hot conditions,” said Kuldeep Kumar, a resident of Santara Morh.
Locals alleged PDD engineers and officials are in cahoots with power thieves, who are using more electricity than is allotted to their region.
They alleged that their colonies were always discriminated compared to posh localities like Gandhinagar, Channi, Bhatindi, Sidhra, Sunjwan, Narwal, Roopnagar, Parade, Satwari, Gangyal, Bakshinagar, Janipur.
“We urge the governor to intervene into the matter to relieve us from power cuts of 15 hours,” Santam Choudhary, another local, said.
The maximum temperature in the city crossed the 40-degrees Celsius mark last week for the first time this season and it is on the rise since then, touching 43.6 degrees Celsius yesterday, the highest in the month of May over the past three years, the Met department said.