Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Too frequent, too long

Too frequent, too long. Rain-starved Bangalore is facing unscheduled power cuts which are taking a toll on everyday life

Jayashree Nandi | TNN

Frequent and long power cuts have made life miserable for residents, but they seem to realize that less rainfall is to be blamed. Their only complaints: why didn’t the government anticipate the situation, and why are the power cuts unscheduled?
Most localities in the city are shrouded by dark streets for hours on end. What’s worse is that water supply has also been affected by this.
The situation in Basaveshwaranagar is grim. “There is power cut almost every other hour. Most localities don’t have power for 8 to 16 hours a day. We understand they could be doing this in anticipation of monsoon failure, but the energy minister says there are technical problems. The Met department says monsoon has been delayed this year. We can manage with scheduled power cuts, but what’s happening is unreasonable,” said M Venugopal, member of Basaveshwaranagar Residents’ Association.
Roads in nearby Rajajinagar and Malleswaram are eerily dark after sunset and residents are stuck indoors. “There are intermittent power cuts even after 8 pm. People are scared to go out because street lights are off. We haven’t complained to Bescom yet because this is not just happening in our area. If this continues, carrying on with the daily routine is going to become very difficult,” said T N Lakshman Rao, member of the Rajajinagar RWA.
In some areas, the cuts are on alternate days and seeing the trend, residents are preparing accordingly. “In our area, there are 5-hour power cuts almost every day. It’s not that bad. We are not against the government but it will be good if we are alerted. Some children have exams. Also, water supply is affected,” said S Ramasubramanium, a resident of BTM Layout.
Jayanagar seems unaffected so far. H Keshawakumar, a resident of 4th Block, said there haven’t been frequent power cuts in the past few days. But they are worried as KPTC reports suggest severe shortage. Parts of Koramanagala have been severely hit. “We have power cuts at least three times a day. Commercial establishments can get generators but we can’t afford them. Drawing water is a problem and we are worried the situation will get worse,” said B S Anantharam, resident of Koramanagala ST Bed Layout.


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