No immediate relief in sight for harried power consumers

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PHOENIX CORRESPONDENT

PORT BLAIR, SEPT 10 : No immediate relief appears possible for the peeved power consumers of Andamans even as the concerned authorities working overtime to grapple with the gigantic problem. Feeling hopeless and helpless, citizens have started losing their patience. “It’s a real ordeal. We are suffering. There is no end to scheduled and unscheduled power cuts. Authorities have failed us. They have no right to be in their seats. Our electronic gadgets including refrigerators and TV sets are getting damaged due to power fluctuation. Our cup of woes is full and they are in a slumber because they don’t feel the pinch of it,” complained a hug number of people all over the town. Meanwhile, if the power chief is to be believed, it might take another 3-4 months for the people to get some respite from their ordeal.

Suryachakkra Power Corporation Ltd. at Bambooflat has been defunct due to inept handling by the management. Parleys seem to be on at the govt. level as well as by the stakeholders to find possible ways to end the impasse between the workers union and the SPCL bosses so as to restart the plant. However, the operational hitches as also the huge debt burden the company is faced with currently , makes it almost impossible to salvage the company.
Talking about the possible solution, the Superintending Engineer, Electricity, U.K Paul said that in the backdrop of such a scenario, the UT administration is contemplating to come up with a 15 MW Power Plant, to be set up somewhere in Dollygunj- Attom Pahad area. Preliminary works including floating of tenders for acquisition of DG sets required for this purpose, have already been initiated. “Once ordered, the commissioning of the plant will take at least three to four months,” he said. If the proposal becomes a reality, it is sure to bring cheers to the residents, who are
otherwise peeved at the frequent power cuts they are experiencing in the city and other place in the Islands.
Regarding the issue of deficit in the power generation being faced by the Department, the SE said that “as against the demand of 35 MW, we are able to generate about 27 MW with the help of functional DG sets available with us; so the shortfall in peak hours comes to about 8 MW. Then comes the mandatory maintenance of the DG sets on a weekly basis, which compels the Department to resort to power shutdown, at times for a longer spells ”, the Uttam Paul said.

Wastage of electricity, both in govt. buildings as well as in private houses, is also a matter of great concern for the Department, said the SE making a fervent appeal to the consumers to cooperate with the Department to use electricity judiciously till the new arrangements are put in place.