| A power supply line in Bhagalpur. Picture by Amit Kumar |
Sangita had come all the way from Jamshedpur with her two children to spend the summer vacation with her parents at Choti Khanjarpur village in Bhagalpur.
Her plan was to stay with her parents till June 23 because the schools of her children would reopen on June 25. But fed up with frequent power cuts, she decided to cut short her vacation and returned to Jamshedpur on Tuesday.
Sangita had the option of not to prolong her stay in Bhagalpur, but the residents of the silk city are not that fortunate this summer. It is an irony that despite continuous supply of nearly 45MW from the central load dispatch to the grids, there has not been any improvement in the situation because of the ageing supply lines and transformers in various parts of the city.
“From 7 in the morning to 2.30 in the afternoon on Monday, a fault in a local supply line snapped service in the city. We repeatedly requested Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB) officials to repair the line, but they did not do anything. We managed to get the line repaired by a private technician, who charged Rs 150 from every household in our area,” said Amit Kumar, Sangita’s brother.
BSEB sources said the department has only one linesman to look after the Tilkamanjhi power sub-division that caters to 75,000 consumers. “We try to manage emergency situations by seeking help from private technicians,” a source said.
“During peak hours (from 7am-10pm), the consumption of power is maximum and as a result the load on the grids is maximum. We often shut down each power sub-station for over one-and-a-half hours on an average,” the source added.
“Since Bhagalpur gets 45MW a day, the residents should get 20-22 hours of uninterrupted power. But we hardly get 8-10 hours of power on an average,” said Chandan Kumar, who runs a shop in the Kajwalichak locality.