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Millennium dream gone sour

These days, the only place where Rajiv Puri, a senior executive with a public sector unit, can catch up with sleep is his car. The Millennium City, with all its high-rise and luxury apartments and multi-national company offices, is struggling this summer to keep pace with its rise in demand for power, reports Sanjeev K Ahuja.

india Updated: Jun 29, 2009 00:11 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja

These days, the only place where Rajiv Puri, a senior executive with a public sector unit, can catch up with sleep is his car. He lives in an independent house in DLF City of Gurgaon and eight to 10 hours of power cuts have even rendered the inverters useless.

The Millennium City, with all its high-rise and luxury apartments and multi-national company offices, is struggling this summer to keep pace with its rise in demand for power.

“I have no other option but to switch on the air conditioner of my car for a couple of hours’ sound sleep. The inverters get exhausted after eight to 10 hours of outages,” said Puri. “My children run away to malls and hang out there and kill time as we cannot even run fans at home.”

In high-rise buildings and condominium apartments, which promise 100 per cent power back, residents are paying through their nose and yet not getting a good night's sleep.

Kittu Mathur, the general secretary of Ridgewood Estate Condominium Association, said the generator sets were running beyond their capacity, which cause them to trip.

Something like a 100 per cent back up no longer exists.

“Breakdowns have become frequent,” said Mathur.

BS Wig, a resident of Ridgewood Estate, said their monthly power bill has gone up to Rs 8000 from an average of Rs 3000.

“Supply failure means more use of generator sets and inflated bills,” he said.

Poor infrastructure and upkeep have worsened the situation. When there are no power cuts, the transformers trip or catch fire, cables snap or provide low voltage supply.

MK Nayar (72), a former chief engineer and vice president of Dunlop, has lived in DLF City since 1990. “Most of my electrical equipment broke down because of low voltage and fluctuation,” he said.

TN Kaul, general secretary of Aar Dee City Residents Welfare Association, said: “We live in independent floors. We have urged the developers to provide us 100 per cent power back up,” Kaul said.

The power officials are also hard to get.

Ravi Wahi, a resident of Palam Vihar said he tried calling everyone, starting from Nigam General Manager Subhash Deswal to a junior engineer and even the local complaint office.

“After many attempts when I got through Deswal and he said he would get back, but never called,” Wahi said.