M A I N   N E W S

A Tribune Special
Mera Gaon Mera Gurgaon IV
Haryana’s ‘leading light’ in the dark
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, October 14
Haryana’s “leading light” is fluctuating, tripping and blacking out more frequently than the public and the industry would relish. Virtually back to the dark ages, it is a pity that residents in this “powerful” pocket are starved of power and the crisis is only worsening with every passing day.

If nothing else, the state’s Power Utilities have proved a great leveller. They at least believe in treating the haves and the have-nots on a level platform, without discrimination or bias.

Your status hardly matters to the Utilities - you could be a shade above the middle class or a shade below, there is no power for hours on end for you anyway. So, air-conditioners, heaters, geysers and other “comforting” electronics won’t work at all. Each morning, residents are waking up to powerless homes and go to sleep without light.

At the root of the power crisis lies the unresolved issue of opening sub-stations within the townships and the inability to arrive at any concrete steps to address it. While the residents are irked over being short-changed in the Millennium City, the Power Utilities are looking at the colonisers and the town and country planning (TCP) department for solutions.

Sources in the Utilities maintain that the land for sub-stations within the townships is yet to be provided by the colonisers. “There’s no shortcut to this problem or any instant solutions. We have asked the TCP department to step in and get the land since they are the licensing authority,” explains an officer.

With no sub-stations to cater to their needs, power meant for other pockets is being diverted to cater to these townships. This diversion and the constant transformation capacity is taking a toll on the power situation in the entire city.

A number of blocks in these private townships have installed Rs 1 lakh gensets in blocks at exorbitant rates, nearly Rs 15 a unit, to meet the shortfall. Those who can afford this expense have gensets to take care of their needs, the others are making do with inverters and there are still others braving the power cuts.

As the departments look to one another, the common man is suffering. Remarks Neena Bedi, a resident of DLF, “There’s no warm water in the mornings, no fan when you come back home. You try calling up any number of the electricity department during a power cut and it is usually switched off. There are 15-hour cuts occasionally and 8-10 hour cuts on a regular basis.”

The industry, too, is short of words to explain the crisis it faces and is running primarily on gensets. Notwithstanding the adverse business due to the present power crisis, industrialists are drawing solace from the fact that at least real estate prices are high. “Even if our business shuts down, we will be able to make good our losses from the value of the plot,” a member of the Gurgaon Industrial Association remarks.

Given the government’s attitude to quickly resolving the crisis between the colonisers and the Utilities, it seems a “light” matter after all!



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