Thursday, November 06, 2008

Lights out in Bengaluru

Lights out in Bengaluru
BY SANCHITA SEN
BENGALURU







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Power cuts have turned nights dark and cold in parts of the city. People are having to go without water as well in these areas as there is no electricity to pump up water to the overhead tanks.

Forced to reach their offices late as they try to cope with these twin problems, people are now saying enough is enough. “There has been no power and water in my house since morning. You need at least a mug of water to brush your teeth with before going to work, but we did not even have that,” complains Ashutosh Singh, a software engineer who lives in Koramangala. He reached office about four hours late because he arranged for water from elsewhere to wash and be presentable at work. Snehal Shah, a marketing consultant and a resident of Indiranagar, lists the inconveniences people have been putting up with in the locality for sometime now due to the sudden power cuts.

“Often when you wake up there is no water. If you are lucky enough to have it on some days, having a bath in the mornings is still difficult because the geysers don’t function. And when its time to get ready you find you can’t iron your clothes,” she says The power cuts have mainly hit South Bengaluru and some parts of Koramangala and Indiranagar. Owners of high rise apartments and PG accommodations here have begun requesting their tenants to return from work at a particular time to coincide with the arrival of water tankers so that they can store water for the next day.

“Our landlord asks us to return home by 6 pm so that we can store water for the next day. The water tankers are terribly expensive and are not available any time we want because they are so much in demand,” says Sangeetha Kumar, a resident of Jayanagar.

To the people’s irritation the UPS or invertors also fail to function due to the frequent power cuts that don’t allow them to charge enough to be able to act as back-up.

Consequently the elderly and pregnant women living in high rise apartments are finding it difficult to even step out of their flats as the lifts don’t func tion.

While power cuts are not new to the city, it is the erratic nature and the long durations of those being experienced now , which is making it difficult for Bengalureans to do their daily chores. “We know that power cuts are caused due to certain constraints, but the least bit that the government can do is to keep us informed about when to expect them.

“That way we could be prepared with alternative arrangements,” says Rohit Srivastava, a financial analyst who lives on Airport Road.

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