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Ludhiana

Posted at: May 15, 2019, 7:42 AM; last updated: May 15, 2019, 7:42 AM (IST)

Power cuts add to woes of residents

Power cuts add to woes of residents
Loose hanging electricity wires cause frequent power cuts in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Shivani Bhakoo

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14

Strong winds blowing for a few minutes are enough to expose tall claims of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) about maintenance of electricity infrastructure in the city.

Residents in several areas had to suffer because of power cuts of about eight to 10 hours last night as strong winds blew in the region for an hour or so.

The electricity supply was snapped in many areas, including Rani Jhansi Road, Civil Lines, Basant Avenue, Gill Road, Haibowal, Tajpur Road and Aman Nagar. The residents had to bear with mosquito bites and darkness for several hours. The helpline number given by the corporation 0161-5055510 had remained unreachable for several hours. When a call was connected after repeated attempts, the attendant expressed helplessness in sharing the reason for the power cut and said there was no power-cut as per his information. He said: “There is no power cut either. But we can still register the complaint.”

Suman, a resident of Major Sham Singh Road, said electricity supply was snapped in the area at 6:30 pm when strong winds started blowing. “We expected power to be resumed after an hour or so. But to our shock, power supply was restored at 2:20 am only. The battery of the inverter, too, had drained and we had to bear both heat and mosquitoes,” said Suman.

Another resident, Satvinder Singh from Tajpur Road, said for over five hours, there had been no power in the entire area. “The kids were preparing their unit tests and they had to study in candle light,” said Satvinder.

President of FOPSIA Badish Jindal said the PSPCL had claimed to have spent crores of rupees on maintaining grids/power lines, but unscheduled power-cuts showed a contradictory picture.

“It is a sorry state of affairs. Many of the grids are shut deliberately when winds start to blow, to avoid major losses. In Ludhiana alone, approximately Rs 400 crore was given to a private company to change wires. Poles were installed but the wires are still hanging loose. In most of the areas, old wires have not been replaced. One or two grids here need immediate upgrade as their capacity is too low as compared to the load. In such a scenario, residents are bound to suffer,” said Jindal.

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