Power cuts add to 41ºC woes

Frequent power cuts have returned to torment people in Patna at a time the mercury has breached the 41-degrees Celsius mark.

By Dev Raj
  • Published 30.04.17

Frequent power cuts have returned to torment people in Patna at a time the mercury has breached the 41-degrees Celsius mark.

Power cuts have hit large stretches of eastern, southern and central parts of the city - right from Chowk to Kumhrar, Bahadurpur, Rajendra Nagar, Kankerbagh, Jakkanpur, Mithapur, Gardanibagh, Lohanipur, Kadamkuan, Fraser Road, Gandhi Maidan, Ashok Rajpath and beyond.

"Just when we thought power cuts were a thing of the past for Patna, it has come back to torment us," said Nutan Singh, a homemaker living in the Rajendra Nagar area. "It makes us feel as if we are living in an oven because the air conditioners cannot run on backup power. The soaring temperatures prevent us from going outside for relief too."

Families are not the only ones suffering. Offices and business establishments are equally bearing the brunt, and bracing themselves for the days ahead, especially when the India Meteorological Department has predicted a long, scorching summer this time.

"Big offices and shops can afford huge generators, but the smaller ones cannot. They are the worst sufferers. Electricity played hide and seek with us. I have forgotten how many times power snapped but total duration must have been more than three hours," said Rajan Agrawal, who has a consumer durables shop on Exhibition Road.

Patna Electric Supply Undertaking (Pesu), which is tasked with supplying power to consumers in the city and some adjoining areas, has blamed the recent power cuts on a fault in a 100MVA (mega volt ampere) transformer and other equipment belonging to the Power Grid Corporation of India installed in Biharsharif, Nalanda district.

"The transformer and isolator at Biharsharif developed a fault on Friday and since then supply to the Karbigahiya, Mithapur and Jakkanpur grids has been affected," Pesu general manager Dilip Kumar Singh told The Telegraph on Saturday. "Efforts are on to repair them and work is expected to be finished by Saturday evening. This is the reason behind the power cuts between 11am and 3pm on Saturday."

The official added that a person in the Jaganpura area near the Patna bypass constructed a small toilet on the top floor of his house, leading to the required gap between the 132kV supply line and the structure. "This in turn led to flashes and sparks due to the high voltage in the line. The power supply tripped because of this. We had to get that construction demolished. It took around three days," said Dilip, while giving assurance of no load-shedding in the city this summer as steps against it have been taken.

"There are no supply constraints and we have made arrangements that if there is a breakdown in an electricity feeder, power can be supplied in the affected area from another feeder. Instructions have been given to attend fuse-related complaints from consumers within an hour," he added.

People in Patna consume around 485MW power and demand is expected to rise to 575MW in June-July. "The maximum load is during June and July. This is the time temperature and humidity are at a high, leading to severe discomfort among the people and making air conditioners must for modern houses and flats. Currently, humidity is low so people are able to tolerate the summer," Dilip said.