Residents in many areas claim additional supply disruptions are common
As if the sweltering heat was not enough, Chennaites now have to contend with unscheduled power cuts too, with many alleging that the number of these cuts has increased considerably.
In Chetpet, power supply is suspended for at least 30 minutes on most nights. “Tangedco staff, when questioned, claim it is because of an increase in consumption. Sometimes, the cuts last for an hour too,” said P. Vincent of Mangalapuram.
For residents of parts of Adambakkam (Surendra Nagar) and Nanganallur (Ram Nagar and Thillai Ganga Nagar), these unannounced power cuts last exactly for an hour. “The phones in the Tangedco office are kept off the hook till the supply resumes,” complained A. Raghavan, a resident of Surendra Nagar.
Many said these cuts began recently, after temperatures shot up. “In Pondy Bazaar, extra power cuts are an everyday phenomenon. When we ask Tangedco staff, they merely claim that cables have snapped due to overloading,” said Vijitha Suresh, a resident of the locality.
Senior officials denied that there was any additional load shedding and said that in addition to overheating power cables, transformers too were regularly developing snags due to the load. “We ensure that such faults are attended to at the earliest,” said a senior official.
Incidentally, one of the factors that could be contributing to the excess load is the increased use of air conditioners. According to H. Vasanthakumar, treasurer, Tamil Nadu consumer durable association, there has been a 40 per cent increase in air-conditioner purchase compared to last year and a 100 per cent rise in purchase of induction cookers.
Due to factors such as these the demand in the city has gone up from 2,500 MW a day last year to 3,000 MW.