Ghaziabad: At the height of summer, life in Ghaziabad has become miserable, with unscheduled power cuts up to 14 hours a day causing water shortages too.
Both the commoners and industrialists are equally hit, and hard. But the district authorities in this industrial town of Uttar Pradesh, abutting the national capital, say they are helpless.
Industry bodies and other institutions say they have never had it this bad. Many are accusing the new government in far away Lucknow of giving a step-motherly treatment to the sprawling district.
Ghaziabad District Magistrate Aparna Upadhyaya explains her own predicament.
"The power supply in urban areas is being ensured 10 to 12 hours a day, and the same is ensured for rural areas too.
"But unscheduled (power cuts) from Lucknow is beyond our control," the officer said, speaking candidly.
Reside of areas beyond the Hindon river are the worst hit.
Lack of electricity means ground water cannot be drawn and water pumps do not work. This amounts to many being deprived of water even to bathe.
In certain areas of Vasundhara, Vaishali and Indirapuram too, the power supply has hit the water availability.
"For the last three days I had to go to my office without taking bath, that too in this summer season," complained Saurabh Singh of Vasundhara.
The power supply provided by housing societies is very expensive. It costs Rs 12-14 per unit.
"But we are being forced to bear such heavy expenditure," said Baljit Singh Rana, a resident of Ganga Tower in Kaushambi.
Housewife Sushma Singh related her woes.
"I have to bear all the family burden. Last week, with no power six to eight hours, I could not prepare breakfast and meals for my husband and my son.
"And worse, there was no water as well. It is a mess. We wonder why we shifted residence from Delhi to NCR (National Capital Region)?"
The industrial associations and the Federation of Residents Welfare Associations have repeatedly expressed their displeasure over the water and power crisis.
Residents say all Uttar Pradesh governments appear to treat Ghaziabad with contempt.
The earlier BSP government was accused of ignoring Ghaziabad and paying attention to Noida and Greater Noida instead.
"Now the SP government is adopting the same attitude," said a retired military officer.
The four legislators of the area, all from the BSP, say they are helpless. With the Bahujan Samaj Party down and out, they appear to have no clout in Samajwadi Party-ruled Lucknow.