Page last updated at 11:19 GMT, Sunday, 28 June 2009 12:19 UK

India heat wave sparks protests

By Rahul Tandon
BBC News, Delhi

Protestors shout during a demonstration in Amritsar against long power cuts on June 27, 2009
Residents in Punjab shout slogans against the state government

Protests are growing in Delhi over power cuts as the Indian capital remains in the grip of a heat wave.

The government of the northern state of Punjab has announced that its offices will shut early as it also attempts to deal with a similar power crisis.

In Delhi, police have been called to break up demonstrations outside the offices of electricity companies.

Hundreds of people turned up at the house of a state minister demanding a solution to the problem.

As residents wait for this year's delayed monsoon, it is getting hotter and hotter and the disruptions to power supplies are getting bigger and bigger.


Most of the residents at the protests are without power for between six to 10 hours a day.

With temperatures in the mid-40s, there is an increasing demand for electricity as everyone tries to cool down.

The system here is unable to cope.

Some people are now sleeping in their air-conditioned cars.

The Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit, has described the situation as grim.

This city will host the Commonwealth Games next year and some say the current crisis shows that it is not ready.

The chief minister has dismissed those fears, saying two power plants are being constructed for the games.

This year's delayed monsoon is slowly moving across India. The people of Delhi are praying it gets here soon.

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