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250 families in Kanawani living in dark for 19 days after transformers malfunction

Electricity department officials said three new 100kV transformers have been sanctioned for the locality and will be installed soon.

noida Updated: Sep 13, 2018 15:53 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times, Ghaziabad
ghaziabad,Kanawani Pushtapar,PVVNL
A Kanawani resident holds a roll of wire and a switchboard. They use this to draw electricity from another locality so that they can run submersibles and fill up water tanks for their daily needs.(Sakib Ali/ HT Photo )

Nearly 200 to 250 households of Kanawani Pushtapar Colony have been living in the dark for the past 19 days as three electricity transformers in the area malfunctioned and new ones are yet to be installed.

Electricity department officials explained the delay in installing new transformers by saying, “deliberations are on about the installation of the new higher capacity transformers as the locality is on the floodplains of river Hindon”. They said three new 100kv transformers have been sanctioned for the locality and they will be installed soon.

However, for past 19 days since the power went off unexpectedly, residents have been resorting to makeshift arrangements to carry on with their daily lives.

“Charging of mobiles phones was a major problem for us. I go to my friends’ houses in other localities to charge my phone. Some local shops also allow us to charge out phones for Rs 10 an hour,” Nitish Kumar, a polytechnic student from the locality, said.

Residents like Sushila Devi and her family of four have locked their house and are staying at a relative’s place for the past one week. Her neighbour Sanjay Kumar said Sushila’s family got tired of making repeated trips to neighbours’ houses to fetch buckets of water.

“I bought the land on the floodplain for Rs 6,000 per square yard and then spent Rs 5 lakh on constructing my house. I have a proper electricity connection. Despite that, I’m forced to charge emergency lights and mobile phones from a high-rise in Indirapuram where I work. Wednesday is the 19th day without power,” Kumar said.

“There are many here who have constructed houses but the department is not giving them power connections,” he added.

Umesh Jha, a resident, has been spearheading a small campaign to get new generators installed.

“The colony has no roads, sewer or pipelines. The transformers were installed by small-time builders who are now gone. The nearby area has transformers and proper supply. So we bought a 300-metre-long wire and connected it to houses in that locality with the help of a switchboard. We do his every fourth day for two or three hours and borrow electricity. One end of the wire is connected to every household in our lane for some time so that they can run submersibles and fill up water tanks for their daily needs,” Jha said.

“Some of the residents, who can afford to buy water from extraction plants, pay Rs 20 per bucket. There are days when food could not be cooked and children are sent to schools with packets of biscuits,” he said.

“There are no streetlights here. Every household has installed a bulb outside their house to keep the lanes lit. Snakes, reptiles and insects roam around freely as we live barely 15 to 20 metres from the river,” Basanti Devi, a resident, said.

The officials of Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited (PVVNL) said the situation at Kanawani Pushtapar is “peculiar” as a majority of houses is constructed on floodplains, in violation of norms.

“Three transformers, 25kv and 16kv capacities, broke down. Each time we went to install lower capacity transformers, residents resisted us. Now, we have the sanction for installing three 100kv transformers and one was installed on Wednesday. The other two will be installed soon,” SK Pandey, executive-engineer of PVVNL, said.

He said power theft and growing consumption led to the old transformers breaking down.

“There are an estimated 1,600 houses in the area. Of these, only about 900 have proper electricity connections. Others resort to power theft. We have also lodged FIRs against them but the menace continues,” Pandey said.

First Published: Sep 13, 2018 15:53 IST