The oft-repeated North-South divide in Chandigarh is showing again this time regarding power supply. Even as the residents belonging to the southern sectors reel under the unscheduled powers cuts in the sultry weather,their counterparts in VIP northern sectors particularly those residing in Sector 1 to 11 are having a comparatively comfortable summer with uninterrupted power supply.
Since the first week of May till now,sectors located to the north of Madhya Marg have witnessed about 85 hours of power cuts. In the same period,there have been power outages amounting to 280 hours in the sectors located on the southern side
Inquiries revealed that the residents of northern sectors,especially Sectors 1 to 6,seldom feel the power cuts,which are a routine affair in the southern sectors.
It is high time the UT Administration takes necessary steps to remove the north south divide. The southern sectors are reeling under the extended unannounced and announced power shutdowns, said P C Sanghi,chairman of FOSWAC.
Sources said that given the VIP status of the northern sectors,the power supply is taken from multiple sources so that there are fewer chances of a power cut.
A senior official conceded that since these sectors were inhabited by Punjab and Haryana Governors,Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers,besides scores of ministers,judges and other dignitaries,the UT Administration could not afford to take any chance of a shutdown. Besides these sectors,parts of Sectors 16 and 24,where senior bureaucrats and judges reside,were also maintenance-proof as far as the electricity supply was concerned.
Another factor for lop-sided power distribution in southern sectors,the sources said,was the high-density of population.
The UT Administration is usually able to handle power supply demand of about 300 to 310 MW. The problem arises when there are overdrawals at low frequency due to which we have to resort to load shedding so as to avoid the shutdown of the entire power station, said UT Finance Secretary V K Singh.
Densely populated,commercial South V K Singh added,There are hardly any commercial areas in the northern sectors. On the other hand,the sectors in south including Sector 34,35 ,43 have huge commercial areas. The load is naturally more on that side and that is why load shedding is done. However,by next summer the situation will improve as upgradation of power station in Sector 34 is in progress and it will be take care of the excess load once completed, he added.
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