Capital woes : Frequent power cuts add to peak summer misery

Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Apr 25:

The long spell of summer heat, coupled with high humidity has made life miserable for people in Bhubaneswar and as if that wasn’t enough, they have to bear with frequent undeclared power cuts that sometimes extend beyond an hour.

People across the city have reacted angrily to the disruption in power supply in the last three days.

“We are not stepping out of our homes after 11 o’clock to avoid the scorching sun. But life indoors has turned out to be even more punishing. Look at the way they go for power cuts every now and then. We can’t afford inverters and imagine our plight when they switch off power. The house turns into an oven in just five minutes without the fan working. They can’t do this to us,” said Sabita Das, an angry housewife in Lingaraj VIhar.

“The blistering heat is forcing us to stay at home. But the undeclared and cruel power-cut at this time is simply not acceptable,” said Ramesh Jena, a resident of Rasulgarh.

However, sources in Gridco said there is no shortage of power as of now as the state is generating adequate power to meet the demand.

” While the demand of discoms is 3,201 MW, the state’s generation and share from different CPPs and central agencies is just 57 MW less. So there should not be any reason for power-cuts.” a Gridco official claimed.

“If there is no shortage of power, then the Energy department should probe into the reasons behind the frequent power cuts,” said Baikuntha Das, a disgruntled shop-keeper in Sahid Nagar.

The searing heat has had its toll on people who earn their bread through outdoor work.

Auto-rickshaw drivers who depend on the daily commuters for their daily bread and butter cursed the heatwave, blaming it for their low-income despite braving the hot sun during the day.

” Look at the empty roads. It’s hard to find a soul around after noon. How do we survive without passengers ?,” said Artatrana Sahu, a dejected auto driver whose earning between 10 am and 4 pm today was just Rs 50.

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