While much emphasis has been laid on laying underground power lines in the new sectors developed by Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), it appears that the underground cables haven’t done the residents of Aerocity a power of good, especially since the authority’s move to hand over the maintenance of power lines to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL). Residents of Aerocity have been at loggerheads with GMADA over this move.
Owing to damage to underground power lines now and then, the residents have been allegedly facing frequent power cuts and have been up in arms against the long blackouts in their area.
Aerocity was developed around nine years ago by GMADA and is located along the airport road on Mohali-Zirakpur road. It is one of the costliest residential areas in the city. It was the first residential area where GMADA laid the underground power lines to minimise the power outages and to reduce the maintenance of the power lines.
GMADA had roped in a private company to lay the underground power lines when the area was being developed. But now GMADA has handed it over to PSPCL despite opposition by the residents of the area.
Aerocity Welfare and Development Committee president Ravinder Pal Singh Tuli said that in the last few months they had seen the worst power cuts in their area. Sometimes the power cuts were for more than 24 hours, he added.
Tuli said that they had opposed GMADA’s move to hand over the maintenance of power lines in their area to PSPCL as it does not have trained staff to repair the underground cables.
“We had been urging the GMADA to rope in some experts so that in case of damage, they could repair the cable lines. But instead of listening to us, GMADA handed it over to PSPCL. This time during the summer, the PSPCL was completely clueless about the reparation work,” Tuli said.
Tuli said that they had made several representations to the senior officers of the power department and even demanded a separate team for the cable repair work in the area, but to no avail.
“People living here had spent crores on their houses. When we meet the officers, they ask us to make alternate arrangement of overhead wires. But we don’t need that, we want the underground wires to be repaired,” Tuli told The Indian Express.
PSPCL Executive Engineer H S Oberoi was not available for comments. Eco City in Mullanpur and IT city in Mohali – the new areas under GMADA – have underground power lines.
Hundreds of residents live in Aerocity which is also close to Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport.