| Power board employees repair a burnt transformer. Telegraph picture |
Gaya, Sept. 7: Lack of response from local power board officials on a slew of problems in the grids, power users have now petitioned Bihar State Electricity Board for redressal of their grievances.
The Chandauti grid has been afflicted with frequent breakdowns due to tripping of power, wild voltage fluctuations, faulty billing, burnt transformers, fragile distribution network, avoidable delay in fault repair among various problems of varying magnitude have harassed the domestic as well as commercial sectors to no end.
Braj Nandan Pathak, the convener of the Vidhyut Upbhokta Sangharsh Samiti, has petitioned the chairman of the Bihar State Electricity Board, highlighting the grievances of the Gaya power users. Copies of the petition containing a nine-point charter of demands drawn up by the Vidhyut Upbhokta Sangharsh Samiti have also been given to the chief minister Nitish Kumar, energy minister Ramashray Prasad Singh, the commissioner of the Magadh division and the magistrate of the Gaya district.
Apart from demanding uninterrupted power supply in view of Gaya’s importance as a sacred pilgrim city, the charter of demands also raises the point of several dozen transformers which have been burnt across the town and have been awaiting replacement for months, but in vain. Vidhyut Upbhokta Sangharsh Samiti has sought the implementation of a mechanism to ensure that the burnt transformers get replaced with new ones within 24 hours.
The samiti’s complaint also mentions that wild voltage fluctuations in several parts of the town make the power supply redundant even when the wires carry current. Wild voltage fluctuations can spoil domestic appliances and cause irreparable damage to them. Another complaint made by samiti pertains to wrong billing and delay in bill service that, in turn, forces consumers to pay penalty without any fault on their part. According to Anushree, a homemaker of GB Road area of the town, the board has installed sub-standard electronic meters, which either get burnt fast or record power consumption at a very fast rate.
On the charge of defective electronic meters, an official of the Bihar State Electricity Board washed his hands off by saying that the Power Grid Corporation installed the electronic meters and the BSEB has negligible role in the matter.
The petition also says that the number of bill payment counters was inadequate in view of the large number of power users. The Vidhyut Upbhokta Sangharsh Samiti convener has demanded the opening of more bill payment counters and the introduction of an alternative bill payment mechanism through banks and installation of intelligent machines in different parts of the town.
When contacted, Magadh area board general manager K.N. Singh said: “In recent years, there has been an unexpected increase in the load on the electric supply, leading to overburdening of the grid. Infrastructure of the power grid to match such hike in load has not been created, triggering the slew of problems.”