While North India bakes in the summer heat, and people drop dead like flies, Biharis are hot under their collective collars. The reason: though there may be high voltage political drama sparking action packed moves in the state capital, the ordinary person suffers from power cuts and low power supply!
Ravi Ranjan Kumar reports:
Patna people are terribly disappointed and annoyed with the electricity supply. Low voltage and fluctuations occur frequently, causing tempers to rise as temperature remains unbearable. While frequent power outages continue to plague the residents, low voltage has added to their woes.
This means that even when there is a power supply, its voltage is too low to make it useful. Electrical equipment, including fans, coolers, refrigerators and even CFL bulbs are malfunctioning.
Rakesh , who lives in Ramkrishna Nagar says, “Life has become difficult for us. On one hand we are facing frequent power cuts; on the other we are getting low voltage power supply. As a result our motor pump does not work and we face water shortage.”
“When the summer season is at its peak, we want cool air. But look at the fun! We have to keep our air conditioners off to avoid dysfunction,” said Megha , a resident of New Patliputra Colony.
Low voltage is causing much more problems for the younger set who use electronics. Santosh Kumar of Postal Park said: “Due to this, I am not able to charge my laptop and work properly on it. Sometimes I am not able to reply in time to my clients via email , and this gives me tension.”
Apoorv Ranjan, a resident of MIG colony complains “I could not print notes for my exam from my computer because of continuous power cuts. Insufficient voltage added to frequent power cuts make it almost impossible to fully charge our cell phones, and not texting for two or three hours is a life crisis for some of my friends.”
Though the Chief Minister is supposed to be aware of this crisis, there does not seem to be amy hope of immediate relief. South Bihar Power Distribution Company Ltd (SBPDCL) are unable to give any convincing solution to the problem. SBPDCL GM Dilip Kumar Singh told the media , “There has been some problem in Sipara grid due to which West Patna grids are drawing power from Ara grid which has led to low voltage problem.”
A Bihar State Electricity Board official said, “In summer, we face such situation because of increased load factor. Too many people want to run air-conditioners, refrigerators and fans. The supply will turn to normal when season changes.”
However, residents say this low voltage and fluctuation is a regular unplanned and not communicated inconvenience instead of being a one –time fault. Citizens are not going to wait till the monsoon comes. “The electricity department levies fuel surcharges and a higher power tariff than many other states. It should try to address the problem as soon as possible,” said Mithapur resident Aman Gupta.