Navi Mumbai in dark age
Renewed load-shedding in Navi Mumbai, touted as the city of the 21st century, has forced a change in daily routine and lifestyle. Households and social and commercial establishments have had to modify their time-table, with domestic chores and office tasks now adjusted to work around the time lost due to load-shedding.
Jhumur Ghose is a housewife in Koparkhairane. She says she has to complete household chores in advance, usually the previous night, as load-shedding is from 8 am to 10.30 am.
“My daughter goes to school at 9 am and my husband leaves home for work at 9.30 am,” she says. “It is not easy coping with this situation, where there is no power when I need it most.”
Her husband, Somenath Ghose, is a senior manager in an information technology multi-national company in Vikhroli. He is profusely perspiring, but says he has bigger problems.
“Our company gives us the choice of working from home in the morning if we return home very late the previous night. For me it has become a norm, as I rarely come home early,” he says. “Now, even if I return very late, I have to get up early in the morning to complete my work before the load-shedding, rendering the facility extended by the company useless.”
Ghose is now planning to buy an inverter but believes it will burn a hole in his pocket. “Waiting for the situation to improve by the year-end is going to be a Herculean wait,” he laments.
There are problems galore at social and commercial establishments as well. N.N. Nayyar, Principal of Apeejay School, Nerul, which experiences load-shedding from 1 pm to 3.30 pm, says office work comes to a standstill during the time, upsetting their schedule. “It is like a complete blank in our lives. We teach our students to use every moment in their life but we sit idle doing nothing,” he says. “This is quite surprising in a 21st century city and the authorities need to do something about it urgently and not just stay with the deficit.”
Somenath Ghose sums it up with a feeling many are increasingly beginning to harbour. “The speed of development should have been curtailed when authorities knew they did not have the capacity to supply power,” he says. “No planning seems to have gone into the infrastructure when cities like Navi Mumbai were on the drawing board.”