Like in rest of State, long-duration power cuts now common in Chennai too

For Vandalur resident Sumathy, the evenings are often tense because the power can go off any moment.

The mother of two calms down only when her children return home from work, safe. Once darkness sets in, the streets and alleyways in her neighbourhood turn into havens for criminal elements thanks to prolonged power cuts, she says.

It is not just the districts that have been facing long and continuous interruptions in power supply. Of late, city residents too, have been suffering from unscheduled power cuts.

Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) officials claim the problem is due to frequent technical snags.

According to Venugopal who runs a pharmacy on Moogambikai Koil Street in Vandalur, there is no power for nearly 10 to 12 hours every day. “We store vaccines and other medicines in the refrigerator. Since the outages are often unscheduled, we are unable to make alternative arrangements for storing the drugs,” he says.

Apart from making her neighbourhood unsafe, the outages also play havoc with her cooking plans, Ms. Sumathy says. “Most of the kitchen equipment runs on electricity today. If the duration of outages was announced, I could plan ahead,” she says.

In Kolathur too, residents are fed up with the frequent outages. “The supply is cut at least thrice a day including at night. Senior citizens suffer a lot because of this. Some of them are sick and cannot afford to lose sleep,” says Rashida, a resident of Puthuagaram in Kolathur.

The situation is the same in Tiruvanmiyur and some parts of North Chennai including MKB Nagar.

“We do not know the reason for the interrupted power supply as there is no proper response from TANGEDCO officials,” says Shylesh, a resident of Kalakshetra Road.

Meanwhile, TANGEDCO officials say they are helpless as the department is short on manpower, material and money. “The power demand is high and we are unable to purchase more power. At times, the power gets disrupted due to technical problems caused by overloading,” an official says.

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