The city reeled under long power outages on the last day of the two-day strike by employees of the state power distribution companies. The employees are protesting the outsourcing of operation and maintenance of 23 power subdivisions.
The employees continued their protest despite the state government imposing the Haryana Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), 1974, that bars officials from going on strike for a period of six months.
As the demand for electricity soared, the feeders tripped and ‘insufficient’ staff to fix the crisis meant several areas had to go without power on day when the temperature touched 40 degrees Celsius.
Residents alleged that their calls to the state power distribution company’s customer care were attended but no follow-up action was taken despite calling several times.
On Wednesday, six feeders of 11 KV each tripped, leading to power outages in several areas across the city.
This led to outages in sectors 56, 57, 17 B, 5, 22, 23 and 30. The worse affected were sectors 10A, 4, 32 and 7 that had to suffer power cuts for more than seven hours owing to fault in electricity lines.
“Power outages are hard for people with breathing problems, particularly at times when heat and humidity are high. It affects the daily routine. All our attempts to connect with the officials of the power department failed,” Shreshtha Mishra, a resident of Sector 56, who also suffers from asthma, said.
The staff of the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) repaired the lines and restored supply in some of the areas.
According to an official of the DHBVN, the outages in these areas were primarily because the transformers were unable to bear the excess load of the increased demand.
Representatives of various residents’ welfare associations (RWA) said dependence on diesel-run power generator backups increased manifold due to the disruption in power supply.
Outages during water supply hours also added to people’s grievances -- many were unable to store water because of the erratic power supply.
“We are facing power outages for minimum of four hours since Wednesday. Even though there is a power backup facility in our society, the water supply gets affected as the motors don’t work on power backup. There was no water for domestic usage all day,” said Poorbi Gaekwad, a resident of Vatika City, Sector 49
Low voltage was another problem. Some residents reported electrical equipment failure.
“Due to voltage issues and fluctuations in the locality since the past 48 hours, some electric appliances were malfunctioning. Hence, we had to purchase stabilizers and attach them to appliances as a precautionary measure,” Veer Supunya Devavrat, a resident of Malibu Towne, Sohna Road.
Superintending engineer (operations) of DHBVN Sanjeev Chopra, said, “With the increase in load, there is a problem with some power lines. Efforts are on to solve the faults and restore power immediately.”
Employees have been protesting against the government’s decision of outsourcing of operation and maintenance of 23 power sub-divisions in the state. They are also demanding filling up of 30,000 vacant posts and an inquiry into the growing losses of power distribution companies.
The decision to proceed with the strike came after talks with state government remained inconclusive.