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Power shortfall hits Barak

Silchar, Aug. 31: The shutdown of Palatana thermal power plant for routine maintenance in Tripura, which supplies 60MW to the Barak valley districts, has aggravated the power crisis in the area.

Protests by angry residents here led the assistant general manager of Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB), Krishnendu Nath, to plead helplessness about the situation. “Since power is not generated here, supply of power is mainly dependent on the allotment from Guwahati,” he said.

In Badarpur, 25km from here, angry residents held demonstrations against the frequent power cuts.

The extent of the problem can be gauged from the fact that the total availability of power in the Barak districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi was just 32MW against the peak evening demand of 110MW, according to an APDCL official in Guwahati.

At 6 last evening, the total power availability in Silchar, the second biggest town in Assam, plummeted to only 2MW, whereas the peak demand is generally around 20MW, according to an official of the Malinibeel transmitting unit here.

The crisis has deepened with the power supply in the business hub stretching from Nazairpatty to Central Road here being switched off regularly and power cuts continuing even late at night when the demand of power is much less.

Srabashti Guha, a schoolteacher, said last night she and her family faced a difficult situation owing to the loadshedding since the two inverters at her home were not working properly as they could not be charged for lack of electricity.

Assam power minister Pradyut Bordoloi’s assertion during the Assembly session yesterday that the Barak valley districts were getting about 80 per cent power was refuted by North Karimganj Congress MLA K.D. Purakayastha, who said the power supply in the districts varied between 35MW and 42MW in the past few days.

But strangely no other legislator from the Cachar district, all from the ruling Congress, said a word about the acute power crisis.


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