As mercury soars, residents worry over unannounced power outages

Hindustan Times | By, Ludhiana
May 12, 2015 12:47 PM IST

As the temperature is soaring up to more than 40° Celsius in the city, the electricity breakdown counting have also started increasing, thus making the residents and industrialists feel the heat.

As the temperature is soaring up to more than 40° Celsius in the city, the electricity breakdown counting have also started increasing, thus making the residents and industrialists feel the heat.

Though in many parts of the city, shutdowns are announced by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) for undertaking maintenance and replacement of infrastructure work by L&T (Larsen and Toubro), but what irks residents the most are unannounced cuts.

Residents and industrialists are worried as the peak season for the PSPCL is yet to come.

Avantika, a resident of Dugri Phase 1, said, “For the past two nights, electricity is playing hide and seek. It comes for an hour and then again there is a power cut for an hour. It has become difficult to cope up with such frequent breakdowns, especially during nighttime. The department should do something to make the life of residents easy.”

This is not the story any particular area, but the situation is similar in most of the areas.

Vicky, a resident of Jassian Road, said, “Power shutdowns have become a routine thing, particularly during nighttime. If there is any fault, why the officials don't bother to rectify it?”

Similar is the plight of industries. This year there were less number of long cuts, but short unannounced cuts have harassed the industrialists.

Pankaj Sharma, general secretary of the Association of Focal Point Industries, said, “It seems that PSPCL has shortage of staff. This year number of power outages is less, but still little wind or rain can play spoilsport, as poles and wires get damaged due to rain, thus leading to power outages.”

Sharma said, “For industries, even an hour-long unscheduled cut makes a big difference in production. Thus, we have to incur losses.”

Vishal Kumar, who runs a small hosiery unit at Basant Nagar, said, “The big industries can run the gensets, but small units like us have to rely on PSPCL supply only. Summers remain the most difficult time for us due to power cuts.”

Ludhiana PSPCL central zone deputy chief engineer HS Joggi, who is working as executive chief engineer, said, “There are no unannounced cuts in the city, as now we announce the schedule of cuts through various mediums. The areas that are complaining might be having some technical problem and they should complaint at our complaint centre on 1912, so that their issue can be resolved. At times fault is not recognised at once, but our men keep on working on it to restore the electricity.”

Consumer gets bill of Rs 2.77 lakh, despite non-functional meter

Ranjeet Singh, a resident of BRS Nagar, was shocked when he received a bill of Rs 2.77 lakh for two months, even as his meter was not functioning properly. Earlier, he used to pay nearly 8,000 bill for this period.

Singh said, “The meter was not working well and I had complained about it to the PSPCL in February and then gave a written complaint in March. A receipt of complaint was also given to me, but instead of changing the meter, they sent me a bill with hefty amount.”

He said, “PSPCL official didn't visit my home to check the status of meter, instead sent a lower grade employee, who perhaps didn't know about the meter. He made a report that the meter was divided in three phases, but it was wrong, as my meter was in single phase.”

Ranjeet also complained of not getting consumer slip of report made by the PSPCL official after checking the meter status.
As per the rules, consumer slip is provided to consumer after the checking of meter. Particulars are filled in register by the PSPCL visiting official.

On this, HS Joggi said, “Consumer slip of every report of checking is provided to the consumer and his/her signatures are taken on register. But, still if someone is not getting that, he/she could complain to the authorities for same.”

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