Factory owners in this industrial belt have asked Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to intervene after a recent communication from the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) on a 58-hour compulsory weekly power-cut.

Mohali Industries Association (MIA) received the PSEB circular Saturday.

“The circular is a big set-back for industries in Mohali. The power situation is worsening day by day. If this is the situation in the month of March when there is no additional load on the department, what will it be like during peak summer,” MIA president B.S. Anand told IANS Monday.

“We are already incurring huge loses in business and we cannot afford to close our units for 58-hours every week. Moreover, using generators for such a long duration is also not a viable option for us,” he said.

Over 1,200 small and large-scale industries operate in Mohali district, around 10 km from state capital Chandigarh.

Most of these companies manufacture engineering goods and automobile parts and over 100,000 people are employed with them.

MIA officials have sought the chief minister's intervention to resolve the issue and urged the PSEB to reconsider its decision.

“Punjab industries are already suffering on account of special treatment given to hill states like Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. This has resulted in large scale shifting of industries out of Punjab,” general secretary of MIA K.S. Mahal said Monday.

“We request the PSEB chairman to review this unwarranted 58-hour weekly power-cut and also appeal to Punjab chief minister to immediately intervene and save the industries in the state,” Mr. Mahal said.

Many industrialists rued the fact that they have still not recovered from the global recession as there was a substantial decrease in their orders and the PSEB's decision has added to their problems.

However, PSEB officials said that the decision had been taken in view of the acute power shortage in the state.

“We are imposing power-cuts all across Punjab. They (industrialists) should understand that these cuts are not permanent and we will roll back this decision once we have other options,” a PSEB official told IANS.