Restaurants in Delhi and Pune will reopen on Monday after a year of darkness, bringing back a bit of their usual ambiance to the city’s dining scene.
The restaurants in the northern and eastern suburbs of the capital are now open for business, while the ones in the central city will be reopened on Monday.
The hotels in the capital will reopen at 4pm.
The hotel and restaurant owners said they will not reopen until a complete cleaning of the buildings has been done.
They said they have been in talks with the city authorities about the matter.
The restaurant owners were among those who lost their establishments in the power crisis that led to the shutdown of all but a handful of the country’s major roads.
They were forced to shut down their outlets after they could not afford electricity.
They had been seeking to reopen their outlets in the early hours of Monday, but it was not possible because of the darkness.
“We have been trying to reopen our outlets at a reasonable rate of our ability for over a year,” said Vijay Singh, owner of the famous “Bob’s BBQ” restaurant in Pune’s Keshav Nagar area.
“The power was gone for four days and we were not able to get power to operate our restaurants.
The city authorities have not come to our rescue and have not offered us any compensation.”
The power crisis was triggered by the closure of all roads leading to the capital.
The country’s power grid had already been damaged in the storm and was still under restoration.
But even as Delhi and other capital cities struggled to cope with the power outage, the situation remained precarious.
On January 6, the state government had declared a state of emergency for 24 hours in order to address the power shortage.
The government has also announced a Rs1,000-crore rescue fund for those who are affected by the power shortfall.
But a total of 6,700 MW of power supply was still available to Delhi and the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana on January 5, according to the Indian Energy Regulatory Commission.
The state had set a goal of providing electricity to 6.5 lakh households and businesses, of which about 5.5 crore needed to be restored to normalcy.
The state government was in charge of setting up a grid maintenance centre at the Nizamuddin Power Complex in south Delhi and a grid repair facility at the National Power Corporation (NPC) complex in south Haryabazarh.
The situation deteriorated further on January 8 when the central government declared a national emergency and the state declared a disaster zone.
A curfew was imposed in Delhi, Haryas, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Assam for two days, with the national alert issued on January 16.
The Delhi government has said that it is looking into the possibility of setting the power grid back up to normal, but this will take time.
“We are aware of the situation in the country and the fact that the state of power in the state is still not restored,” the city government said in a statement.
“But we have decided to reopen the restaurants and restaurants are open and working,” the statement said.
The statement said that the restaurants would be open on Monday as usual.