It turned out to be a rather sweaty weekend for residents of Panchkula, who faced a long power outage that lasted several hours, beginning around midnight on Saturday and continuing till late evening on Sunday. Water supply to many parts of the city too was disrupted due to this long, unannounced cut.
The electricity department blamed the power cut on the heavy rain and storm that led to some trees falling and damaging the power lines. There was confusion in the department as an official attributed the long power cut to maintenance work.
S K Nayar, president of Residents Welfare Association, said he kept receiving complaints from all around the city regarding the outage. “The electricity that went out at night did not come back till next morning. As we breathed a sigh of relief, the light went out again. The inverter’s battery was drained and imagine the plight of the ones who don’t even have an inverter. I don’t understand the reason for the outage. Had the electricity and water department worked to their optimal potential, we would not have faced this problem,’’ he groused.
R P Malhotra, a resident of Sector 8, complained that the water supply also got hit by the electricity cut. ‘’As soon as the light went off, the water supply stopped as well,’’ he said, wondering why the water pumping stations don’t use gensets.
Gopal Bhardwaj, PMO, Civil Hospital, said they had to keep the generators running throughout Sunday. “It was a hassle to operate the whole hospital without electricity for 15 hours. Although the OPDs were shut, areas requiring critical care like operation theatres, emergency department among others cannot lose electricity even for a second. Our generators worked the whole day to ensure everything was taken care of.’’
Sources said the hospital had been cautioned about the outage and asked to make necessary arrangements.
A police official told Chandigarh Newsline that no computer systems worked the whole day. Most of the police stations don’t have generators. All work was done manually on paper. He sighed, “I am glad the weather was good.”
Although the pleasant weather was a godsend, lack of water posed a problem, especially for guesthouses and owners of paying guest accommodations. Veena Gupta, owner of a paying guest accommodation in Sector 7 who has a joint family and 14 women PGs on top floor, said it was struggle to get water to the upper floor. “We had some stored water but used it all in the morning itself. The whole day was then spent without water. It was a Sunday and all the girls were home.”
Various attempts were made to get in touch with executive engineer, UHBVN, Sanjeev Sharma, but in vain. A junior engineer said the outage was a result of the storm that led to several trees crashing down in various parts of the city. Another official said the outage took place as the system was under maintenance.
33 trees fall in UT, power on blink
As many as 33 trees and seven branches fell due to storm and rainshowers on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday.
Krishan Pal Singh, executive engineer of the horticulture department, said that their teams did remove the fallen trees and branches immediately after it was brought to their notice.
According to the details, trees fell in sectors 46, 47, 32 , 31, 23D, 24C, 20, 45B, 51D, 35, 30A, 29B, 28, 38 West, 9, 7, 15, 41, 40A and one near a stretch leading to Punjab Raj Bhawan.
Also, in parts of southern sectors, there was no power even for over six hours.
Baljinder Singh Bittu, chairman of the Federation of Sectors Welfare Association of Chandigarh, said, “In our Sector 21, electricity kept going after a few minutes the entire night. This morning as well there was no power from 8.30 to 10.30 and then again from 11.30 am to 1.30 pm.”
An official of the power department said that in several sectors, trees fell and that is why the power got snapped. “A fault occurred in several areas only because the trees and branches fell snapping the wires,” the official said.
With power pangs, Chandigarh residents faced water crisis as well.