VC says Bescom resorting to blackmail tactics

Students living on the Bangalore University’s Jnanabharathi campus, who have been experiencing power cuts over the past week, went on a snap protest forcing Vice-Chancellor B. Thimme Gowda to seek Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s intervention to resolve the issue. The university has claimed loss of months of research work, especially the cultured specimens, which has to be redone now.

The students, some of whom are preparing for the exams, sat on a protest blocking roads. A second year Masters in Law student said that the students were put to hardship and were unable to study and complete their assignments.

Prof. Gowda accused Bescom authorities of resorting to “blackmail tactics” by cutting the power supply as the university had refused the KPTCL proposal to dig the main road to lay power cables.

Prof. Gowda said that the university and the BBMP had spent Rs. 12 crore to lay the road recently; and so the university had refused to allow the main road to be dug up. “We had even suggested alternative route where they could lay the power lines. But the KPTCL officials have not responded to us and are using the Bescom authorities to blackmail us,” he said.

Prof. Gowda also added that the KPTCL authorities, after Mr. Siddaramaiah’s intervention, agreed to survey the alternative route.

Responding to this, Pankaj Kumar Pandey, managing director of Bescom, said that power overloading of the 66 kV feeder led to the power cuts. He said that Bescom had not resorted to “blackmail tactics”.

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