With no power supply for six days, residents battle mosquitoes as fans come to a halt

For the past six days, residents of Erukkancheri have been grappling with the dark. With no power supply in the locality, lives have been turned upside down: children have not been going to school, mosquito bites have increased due to fans not running and parents are worried their children will contract dengue. Last Wednesday at 11 a.m., electricity supply was affected on Erukkancheri High Road in Vyasarpadi, which has over 150 houses including many small commercial establishments such as tea and tailor shops, says Lalith Kumar Jain, who lives at door number 20 on the street.

“We have not even been able to even cook properly as there is no power. Sometimes there is a power cut for an entire day — but while that is bearable, no supply for six days is atrocious,” said Mr. Jain.

“Residents either buy outside food or cook for the entire day in the morning when there is light,” he claims.

Mr. Jain also said that residents were relying on the hand pump on the road or the Sintex tank for water.

“As there is no electricity we cannot run the motors. So we are forced to wait and pump the water ourselves. Only then do the residents go to work. It is gruelling for all involved,” he said.

Children are the worst affected, as they have not been able to sleep or study properly. “They have not been going to school for four days now. Due to the mosquito menace, they have not been able to get a good night’s sleep too. As most of the residents are from low-income groups there are not many air conditioners in the locality, we just need the fans to work,” Mr. Jain added.

His five-year-old son Dharmesh, has been admitted to a hospital in Sowcarpet after being diagnosed with dengue. “As it is a slum area, there is a lot of garbage and consequently, many mosquitoes. Coupled with the lack of power supply, all the children are vulnerable to mosquito bites. Many residents are frightened,” he said.

A. Gopalakrishan, who runs a tailor shop in the area, said that his business has been affected due to the power cut. “Usually I earn Rs. 600 per day. As there is no electricity, I am not able to finish work on time and my customers are very unhappy,” he said.

An official at Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation’s Vyasarpadi office, said the problem was due to digging work to construct a bridge in Vyasarpadi. “We have given supply to most houses and will be restoring it to others too soon. There was a problem in only a few houses,” he said.

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