It is a story which doesn’t seem to end – come the monsoon and the power supply plays truant again. Sometimes, it needs just a light shower to plunge many parts of the city into darkness. It has happened time and again and year after year and there is no solution in sight. It is not just a matter of a few minutes, it could stretch for hours and even days.
So is the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) doing its job or they just don’t give care enough?
Random power cuts due to load-shedding or crunch in power supply over safety precautions can be understood. But the frequent power cuts cannot be justified despite the load. Pune is going to be a smart city and if such situations persist, then all hope will be lost.
Here is what Punekars think about the persistent power problem in the city.
“The power cuts here get really frustrating in the monsoons. My workshop sometimes is completely at a standstill due to random power cuts,” says Faiz Qureshi, owner of a menswear boutique in Camp
“I have a lot of orders ( for the festive month of Ramzan ) which are all pending. It’s a loss of business for me if I don’t complete them on time,” he added.
“These days there are not too many power cuts but due to heavy rains there are times when the circuit or wires gets affected which causes power failures for about 4-5 hours,” says Sakina Godhrawala, a resident of NIBM.
“Since such incidents are common and bound to happen, the electricity board should keep ready a team of people who could repair such problems quickly.”
However, Surubhi Vasan, a student, is very frustrated.
“Try calling the MSEDCL and you always get an engaged tone any time of the day or night,” she says. “They are just not interested. If by chance you do get them, they say we are on our way and that never happens. They just stall.
“They should be prompt like when you don’t pay the bill, they cut off your lights without warning. “They should be accountable for power cuts just as we are for non-payment,” she adds.
Nutritionist and Dietician Dr. Dimple Oswal says, “Rains may get heavy later, but even at the slightest shower we anticipate a power cut. “It is very difficult especially for people without any electricity backups. No light, no lift, no water creates a lot of difficulty in our daily routine. “All the food and milk stored in the refrigerator also gets spoilt if the power cut is extended,” she adds.
“The state electricity board often tries to shed the burden off their shoulders by providing excuses such as falling of a tree or an electricity pole that remain unattended even after several hours of power cut,” says Anirudh Mhatre, a city-based businessman.
“The recent excuse is the digging of roads to install gas pipelines or electricity lines. Various lanes in the city have been dug due to the ongoing installation work.
“The digging process is time consuming also leading to traffic divergence. “Sometimes careless digging of the roads even cut the underground laid electric wires causing an extended power cut in the area.
“Recent blackouts in the city have been a nuisance and the MSEDCL must be questioned about their monsoon backup plans for Pune.
They are answerable to us Punekars, as the problem persists year after year,” he adds.
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