Power supply goes haywire in city as heavy gales wreak havoc

Power supply that went haywire due to thunderstorm and strong gales on Sunday evening remained so throughout the night in many areas of the city. Residents of Saroornagar, Aasmangadh, Secunderabad, Tarnaka, and Marredpally had a sleepless night, swatting mosquitoes and wondering whether ‘emergency response' in power distribution parlance meant reprieve a day away.

Gales caught Discom officials totally off-guard and cast serious doubts on the company's emergency-preparedness. More annoying was the utter lack of response from Fuse-Off Call centres and Emergency Control Room as even complaints to assistant and divisional engineers failed to yield swift action.

Power was restored in major part of Secunderabad only after 9 a.m. on Monday. Quite a few localities in Sainikpuri, Mahendra Hills, Malkajgiri, Ramanthapur and Aasmangadh remained without power today also. Residents around Tarnaka, Banjara Hills and Himayatnagar experienced voltages that wouldn't illuminate a tube light. Some had only one phase powered.

Complaints about apathetic attitude of officials abounded, and there were even incidents of attacks on substations and fuse-off-call centres. “Our area had many incidents of trees and branches collapsing on power lines. Despite several complaints, not a single official or lineman could be seen. We finally removed the trees all by ourselves and waited for the supply to be restored,” complained Chamundeswari, a resident of West Marredpally. “Mere sight of a team working on restoration would have assured us of some order but even after roaming the whole locality, we could not find any,” recalls a consumer from Dilsukhnagar.

Phased restoration

However, CPDCL officials claimed that emergency response teams were on their toes the whole night. Delay was due to the phased restoration process, starting with the 33-KV lines and then proceeding to 11-KV and Low Tension lines. About 40 33-KV feeders tripped and their restoration took more than two hours. Of the 95 11-KV feeders, 55 to 60 tripped due to fallen trees that had to be physically removed.

“Due to rain, it took us time to get our act together. Majority of the class-IV workers being contract labourers, we could not gather them immediately,” said a senior Metro Zone official.

Though the feeders were restored, work is still on at the level of transformers and individual service lines, a press note informed.

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