Load-shedding seems to have become a part of life for many Kochiites, who have re-scheduled their daily routine in tune with switch-off time.
Even though people echo a strong feeling that mismanagement on the part of the Kerala State Electricity Board was responsible for the current situation, many feel that the government had no other option but to impose load-shedding in view of the acute power shortage in the State.
Lakshmi Venugopal, a management professional, said her daily family plan was chalked out on the basis of the 30-minute cyclical load-shedding during the morning and evening. “Otherwise, it would be difficult for all at home. I need to prepare my children for school in the morning and hence all kitchen work, especially ironing the uniforms and using the mixie and oven, are done before the power cut,” she said.
Subin Nair, an advertisement professional, pointed out that he was not against the 30-minute load-shedding as the authorities had no other option but to save power. “Look at States like Tamil Nadu where people have to remain without power for several hours daily. But small-scale industrial units have been severely hit because of the load-shedding. T. H. Badruddin, president of the Ernakulam unit of the Small-Scale Industries Association, said several units incurred a loss up to Rs. 1,500 daily after load-shedding was introduced in the State.
“We have requested the authorities to come up with a seven-hour continuous power holiday a week to save the small industries from a crisis. Small-scale industries have to work round the clock for six days a week to make their operations profitable,” he said.
Traders said the impact of the load-shedding was relatively less on them as they need to operate the generator only for the 30 minutes in the evening. “We have not yet felt the pinch of load-shedding,” said Venkitesh Pai of the Ernakulam Merchants Union.