Policeman takes over phone line at EB office in absence of Assistant Engineer

It was an entirely different call that M.K.B. Nagar inspector S. Sheik Babu attended to on Thursday night and it was not in a police station. He was patiently attending to power cut calls at the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) office in Sharma Nagar and assuring callers that supply will be restored.

He was forced into the situation after a mob comprising residents of M.K.B Nagar and surrounding areas such as Bhaktavatsalam colony, Sharma Nagar, Erukancheri, Sastri Nagar and MGR Nagar staged a demonstration in front of the TANGEDCO office on Erukanchery Road at around 11 p.m on Thursday. “We did not have power from Thursday morning. It was restored only on Friday evening,” said Thamaresh, a resident of Damodar Nagar.

He said that apart from the one hour load shedding, they face power cuts and low voltage problems daily and the TANGEDCO officials do not attend calls. Unable to bear the negligence of the TANGEDCO officials, the residents held the demonstration. “We purchased cables earlier and gave them after they said it had to be replaced. But despite this, the supply quality is poor and the response to consumer complaints is pathetic,” said J. Sudharani, a resident.

When the police reached the spot, the concerned assistant engineer was not in office and no one was attending calls. The cops had to call the TANGEDCO headquarters on Anna Salai and pass on the information to the engineer.

“A temporary employee was posted in the office. He got frightened seeing the mob, and ran away. I then attended a few calls. Sometime later, the engineer came to the office. The residents dispersed only after they got assurance that supply would be restored,” said inspector Sheik Babu.

The inspector stressed the need for a TANGEDCO official to be present in the office even at night. “The main problem here is overloading. Only someone responsible can make the consumers understand. I have told the concerned assistant engineer to post someone in the office daily,” said Sheik Babu.

TANGEDCO officials said , most of the consumers have single phase connections. “With this, they run all electrical equipment including ACs. Thus, the supply gets affected,” said an official.