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Why can’t we get this right?

india Updated: Jun 28, 2009 00:46 IST
Avishek G. Dastidar
Avishek G. Dastidar
Hindustan Times
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No respite, only assurances, broken promises and more lies.

This, in a nutshell, was the outcome of the much-awaited, meeting between Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs) and BSES — the private power distribution company (discom) — in the line of fire for unusually long power cuts in the city.

The meeting, held at BSES headquarters late Friday, saw a delegation of around 30 RWA representatives from areas in south, west, east and southwest Delhi, while CEO Arun Kanchan led the discom team.

Angry and frustrated with long outages, residents were on the offensive, demanding answers for the 8-10-hour-long cuts. On the backfoot, BSES provided a one-month advance schedule of outages for their areas. As per the schedule, no area would face power cuts for more than an hour and there wouldn’t be any power cut between midnight and 6 am.

“But the very night, the promises were broken as there was no power for most part of the night,” said ID Sharma of Arjun Nagar RWA in south Delhi.

Faced with rampant power cuts even after the meeting, residents called up helplines only to be rebuffed. “Janak Puri is not an area of power theft. We pay for the power we consume. Why should our area face so much power cuts?” said Gulshan Rai of Janak Puri RWA. What baffled the residents the most was that Kanchan persistently denied the occurrence of long power cuts.

“He was not willing to accept our grievances. He said we were blowing things out of proportion,” said Pankaj Aggarwal, who headed the RWAs’ team. Kanchan told HT that residents were “miscalculating the hours of outage”. “I told them that meters of my transformers were telling me a different story from what residents were claiming. They were not willing to listen,” he said.

Amid all this, neighbouring Gurgaon indicated going the Delhi way as its posh Palam Vihar area faced 12-hour long outages since Friday night.

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