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Coal town reels under power cuts

With a shortfall of over 90MW, Dhanbad and its adjoining areas are in the middle of a severe power crisis with the town being supplied electricity for barely two hours as of Wednesday.

Thursday was no better, with power supply remaining erratic and residents being forced to stay indoors and suffer the harsh temperatures of over 40-degree Celsius.

The situation went out of control on May 19 when a DVC tower in Chatabad area of Baliapur collapsed after a storm, disrupting water supply in the Putki Grid which, in turn, affected power distribution.

DVC chief engineer (central load dispatch) department Amitabh Nayak said power supply through the Putki Grid would be restored by 8pm on Thursday as the tower was being repaired on a war footing.

“Work is also going on at Chandrapura, both units of which tripped after a blast in the plant,” he said.

Rotational supply was on to both industrial — BCCL, CCL, ECL — and domestic consumers of Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB), but the situation, he added, would improve only by Friday.

Dhanbad’s daily requirement of power is around 180MW.

President of Federation of Dhanbad Zila Chamber of Commerce and Industry Rajiv Sharma said the situation had become unbearable and warned of unrest as people’s anger was peaking.

“We had raised the issue of frequent and long hours of power cuts during Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission public hearing at which member finance Alok Sharan assured us that corrective steps would be taken. But the situation has turned from bad to worse,” he said.

The chamber, he added, would take up the issue with him once again, failing which they would be compelled to take to the streets.

Blow to Bokaro Steel

Bokaro steel plant suffered losses to the tune of several crores after electricity supply from a sub-station of Chandrapura Thermal Power Station (CTPS) came to a sudden halt in the wee hours of Wednesday, damaging machines and equipment, particularly at blast furnaces and coke ovens. Lakhs of residents of Bokaro steel city and its adjacent areas were also left without electricity even as the temperature touched 46.1°C. Sources claimed that it would take a couple of days for the power scenario to improve.


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