| A road ambulance in Patna. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
Bye-bye prolonged power cuts. Welcome to the age of electricity ambulances — ever ready to quick-fix snags.
The Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited is set to introduce transformer and fuse call ambulances to drastically reduce the restoration time of any kind of power failure. “The objective of introducing the ambulances is to provide quickest possible relief to consumers in case of problems like burnt transformers and malfunctioning of fuse,” holding company chairman Pratyaya Amrit said.
According to the plan, the fuse call ambulances would be pressed into service by July-end. The first transformer ambulance would be on road by August 15. While there would be six to seven transformer ambulances in Patna, each district would be equipped with at least one such vehicle in months to come. As regards the fuse call ambulances, around 10 vehicles would be pressed into service in Patna and districts would be provided at least two such vehicles.
The transformer ambulances would be specially designed vehicles fitted with transformers of various capacities, and tools and material required to connect a transformer with the main line for supplying electricity to consumers. They would also have teams of mechanics and engineers. This type of ambulances would be put to use in case of burnt transformer. The power supply of the affected area would be restored with the help of transformers fitted in the ambulance. The service would be provided till the burnt transformer is replaced. Fuse call ambulances would be vehicles having all tools and material required to attend fuse calls. These would also have dedicated teams. They would move in the vehicle for quickly addressing the fuse call complaints.
At present, burnt transformers are replaced in urban areas within three days. In rural areas, the average replacement time is around a week. Terming the plan of introducing transformer ambulance a welcome move, Ranjan Kumar, a resident of Bhusaula in rural Patna, said: “Last time, we had to stage a protest for getting burnt transformer of our locality replaced. I hope that introduction of transformer ambulance would safeguard us from the ordeal of living without power supply for days together in case village transformer gets burnt.”
As far as attending the fuse calls is concerned, the old system of sending mechanics to the complainant is done on the basis of complaints received at fuse call centres. It is quite time consuming given the fact that no dedicated vehicles are there for the movement of the mechanics.
Amrit, the power holding company’s chairman, said the electricity ambulances would be fitted with GPS devices to track their movement and they would be kept in ready position round-the-clock to address complaints in the shortest possible time.
“I would hold discussions with engineers to chalk out the kind of facilities the ambulances would be fitted with followed by which the process of procuring the vehicles would be commenced,” he said.