‘Ammi’ in lieu of mixer, idle inverters and washing machines, sleeping with mosquitoes… agony list goes on

Residents of Madurai are reeling under the impact of severe power cuts over the past few days which have completely disrupted their daily .

Residents of many areas in the city reported power cuts exceeding eight hours in the day time between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. alone.

Power cuts also punctuated the entire night as the supply was getting interrupted almost every other hour. Power outages have also affected those having the luxury of buying inverters as the duration of power supply was not long enough to fully recharge the batteries.

S. Muthukumar, an advocate in Madurai, told The Hindu that he had sent a petition to the State Health Secretary pointing out that power cuts at night were putting the children’s health at risk due to mosquito bites. Further, pharmacies were also suffering as some medicines must be refrigerated to be effective.

“The people are once again going back to stone age as they are discarding mixers and grinders and have begun using stone pounders (‘ammi’). The children are also finding it difficult to study during examinations,” the advocate added.

Umar Farook, who runs a tailoring shop at Kannanendhal, said, “I had just two hours of power supply on Friday during the business hours. If this continues, how can I meet the Deepavali season rush when demand is at its peak?”

As he uses electrically run tailoring machines, finding tailors has also become hard because of the working hours getting curtailed drastically. Many tailors were switching over to other professions, he said, adding that despite the duration of power cuts increasing, the electricity consumption bill remained constant.

M. Thirunavukkarasu, president of the Madurai Bench High Court Advocates’ Association, said that lawyers were unable to study their cases and prepare their arguments in view of the frequent power cuts, for which there was absolutely no pattern.

“We are unable to deal with even the emergency cases because of the power cuts. How can the State Government give preferential treatment to Chennai when the Constitution guarantees equal treatment for all,” he wondered.

Even when other districts are reeling under more than 16 hours of power cuts, the State capital still faces only an hour of load shedding.

No washing

A resident of Vishwanathapuram said that on Friday power supply was cut from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and again from 11.15 a.m. to around 5 p.m. “Using the washing machine had become an extremely difficult task because of the uncertainty over power availability,” she said.

P. Sitaraman, founder-president and executive committee member of Plastic Manufacturers' Association of Madurai (PLASMA), said that many of his women employees did not report for work on Saturday as they were unable to get ready due to lack of power supply.

Restaurants had a hard time as they were unable to serve cool drinks cold anymore since there was not enough power supply to keep the refrigerators running. Storing other perishable commodities such as milk and curd was also becoming problematic.

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