Friday, February 19, 2010

`Powerless' city feels the heat

`Powerless' city feels the heat
Bengaluru,







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With summer setting in early, unexpected spurts of power cuts and water shortages are making residents angry and frustrated.
With exams just around the corner, students will be the worst affected, report Shilpa P. and Sanchita Sen We have taken all pre- cautionary measures to prevent the outbreak of an epidemic during sum- mer. We are evicting all roadside stalls selling fruits that are cut and uncovered food. The water supplied by tankers is also being tested. We will not hesi- tate to close hotels which do not maintain good standards of hygiene.
DR L.T. GAYATHRI, chief health officer, BBMP In extreme circum- stances, we have to balance and priori- tise the use of power. We will not resort to power cuts at night in resi- dential areas because we know that this is the time when everyone is at home and the chil- dren need to study.
TUSHAR GIRINATH, MD, Bescom We have appealed to KPTCL and Bescom to ensure better power supply to the water pumping stations.
While we have 40 tankers to supply water, in times of a crisis, con- sumers can pay Rs 250 and get an additional 6,000 litres of water. We will make optimum use of the available water.

VENKATRAJU T., chief executive engineer, BWSSB Drink safe boiled and cooled water.

Clean storage tanks.

Drink two to three litres of water daily.

Avoid stagnation of water.

Maintain personal hygiene.
Avoid eating fruits from roadside stalls and uncovered food.

Visit the doctor in case of an infection.
With the city heading for an early summer, people are already suffering the dis- comfort of hot days and nights.
What is making life even more dif- ficult is that they cannot simply reach out to switch on the fan or air- conditioning in their homes as power supply is playing more truant than usual.

The supply has become so erratic that people can no longer even pre- pare for the power cuts, which are hitting them at random at all times of the day. The authorities seem to have been caught unawares by the untimely arrival of summer, despite the many promises that have been made about buying power from out- side Karnataka to meet the needs of the state in the sweltering months ahead.

For Bengalureans, both the heat and the power cuts are unusual this time of the year, accustomed as they are to living in a city where the summers are short and winters are long.

Students preparing for exams and their parents are worried by the unexpected power interruptions which are playing havoc with their concentration, leaving them anx- ious about whether they will be able to put in their best in the examina- tions that are round the corner.

"We have about two hours of power cuts at some time of the day or the other," says Sushma Naik, a worried mother of a 10-year-old from JP Nagar.

Office-goers find they are reach- ing their workplaces late with no power to pump water into their overhead tanks. "We had no water since this morning and so could not be pumped up to the tank over- head," complains Prashanth Math- ur, a software engineer from Kora- mangala, who reached his office a couple of hours late as water had to be arranged for his use. In fact some office-goers are volunteering to work late to avoid the power cuts at home. "I prefer reaching home a little late in the evenings because I find it very boring to sit around without electricity and television," says Amit Verma, a techie who lives in Wilson Garden.

"I shudder to think what it will be like in peak summer," says Varsha Sinha, a marketing executive from Vasanth Nagar.

BESCOM says the power situa- tion in the city is not as comfortable as it was this time last year and it is doing its best to cope. "Last Febru- ary we were in a comfortable posi- tion because it was not so hot. Tech- nical glitches are also leading to power cuts. We are trying to get an additional 400 MWs for the city," says Tushar Girinath, MD, Bescom.

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