UT power woes not accidental; equipment upgrade fails to keep pace with demand

  • Monica Sharma, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jul 01, 2016 16:42 IST

Unscheduled power cuts continued to haunt residents in parts of Sectors 8, 9, 17, 27, 28, 34, 43, 44, 45, 49, 52, 56 and Dhanas in the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday due to the overloading of a transformer in Sector 8 and some fault in a Sector 34 cable. Even as UT electricity department claims these are maintenance cuts and thus have to be unscheduled, HT has zeroed in on major causes of sudden power outages in town.

Residents of Sectors 18,19, 21, 27, 28 and Industrial Area have already been battling power cuts for 10 days now due to a damaged transformer near the Transport Chowk.

Non-declaration of exact load by residents, overloading of transformers in peak summers, creaking infrastructure as transformers and cables were installed more than 30 years ago and have not been upgraded mean that unscheduled cuts are actually happening with unerring regularity, especially for residents of Southern sectors. The department’s inability to manage peak load in summers also leads to power outages.

Dhanas dwellers slugged it out without power for four hours as did parts of Sector 7 from 1am to 5am on Thursday. Residents in Southern sectors continue to face the brunt of the power shortage with supply lagging demand by over 10% of the peak demand of around 400MW on May 20 this year.


Conductors, the wires that supply electricity from the transformers to various locations, have not been replaced since 1985. The majority of the 14 substations are overburdened with the situation akin to a man carrying a truck.


The UT electricity department is grappling with staff shortage. The department had 1,780 posts against 1.12 lakh connections in 1987 and now there are just a 1,000 employee for 2.5 lakh connections, of which around 1.75 lakh are domestic.


Residents failing to declare the exact load results in overloading of the transformers and hence tripping and parking. Of 2.5 lakh consumers, only 40,000 have declared their exact load.

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