Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Powerless Corridors: Officials in commerce & industry ministries felt the heat as there was a day-long power cut on Monday
Don’t call them power corridors anymore. Top bureaucrats and other employees of Delhi’s Udyog Bhawan housing the ministries of commerce and industry felt the heat, literally, on Monday, May 18, as there was a major power failure for over eight hours crippling AC plants, telecommunication, computers to name a few. The work in the two crucial ministries virtually came to a grinding halt on a day when many officials of these two pro-industry ministries would have rejoiced the 30-stock BSE index Sensex surging a record high of over 2000 points. No wonder, even the senior bureaucrats had to call their peons themselves as even calling bells were not functioning. Whereas secretary of DIPP (Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion) Ajay Shankar was lucky as he was in US on a personal visit, his counterpart in commerce ministry G K Pillai had no choice but to undergo the sufferings. Despite the near-emergency situation in the building, and a virtual blackout in corridors of the two ministries, a section of officials including Mr Pillai and their support staff had to prepare for the special meeting called by cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar on action plan of the first 100 days of Dr Manmohan Singh’s second innings.