By Fariha Fatima
Unscheduled power cuts have become a bane of Zirakpur residents’ existence. These residents suffer during the searing heat at noon without fans or air-conditioners. Even though the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) had assured residents that they would not impose power cuts lasting more than two hours a day and the residents would be intimated about the power cuts in advance, electricity has been playing truant in this township throughout this summer.
A resident of Gazipur road, fed up with the power cuts, said, “There are frequent unscheduled power outages for nearly 3-4 hours everyday. We have been complaining regularly to the authorities but to no avail.’’
Neelam, a resident of Savitry Greens on VIP Road, said,” Considering the continuous development and increasing property rates, the power situation in Zirakpur is not upto mark. Every day, there are 4-5 unscheduled power cuts, each lasting for 30-40 minutes. What’s more, there is frequent voltage fluctuation that damages our electronic appliances. We spent so much on installation of stabilisers.”
BK Sharma from Baltana, says, “The daily cuts last three hours. Apart from this, we have bi-weekly outages from 9 am to 5 pm. The power cuts make our lives difficult. Inverters also don’t function beyond four hours.” There are times when these colonies remain without power for an entire day at a stretch.
A local cloth shop owner, who recently shifted his business to New Defence Colony, complained, “I installed two inverters at my shop to maintain proper lighting because customers don’t like visiting dimly-lit shops. There is a transformer near my shop that frequently sparks because of the voltage fluctuations,” he added.
Rajni Kumari, a resident of Swastik Vihar, also expressed her anger over unscheduled short cuts of 15-20 minutes that occur about 12-15 times a day. “‘The voltage goes yo-yo and at times it is so high that it damages our appliances. PSPCL needs to take dire actions to resolve this uneven distribution of power”
As per the official record, Zirakpur has 78,000 connections that supply electricity from two main grids, one located at Babhat and the other at Dhakoli. When Chandigarh Newsline went to PSPCL’s office in Zirakpur to talk in connection to the power outages, Manpreet Attri, (Technical SDO) said,”We have recently augmented 20-25 transformers to meet the increasing demand of electricity. With the temperature crossing 40 degree Celsius mark, there were some faults few weeks back but now, the overall power supply situation has improved.”
Gaurav Kamboj (Commercial SDO), added,”Currently all our work is done manually but soon it will be computerised, which would improve our efficiency.”