Even though it is well before peak summer, residents are already complaining about the “unbearable” heat. With the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board's(TNEB) load shedding in 2008 still fresh in their memory, citizens of the city and suburbs are anxious whether there would be an uninterrupted power supply.

T. Sadagopan, resident of Pattabhiram, asks if the city and suburbs would be exempted from restricted load shedding. He point outs that the list of areas covered under maintenance work grows day by day. When maintenance work is taken up, the supply goes off for at least eight hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Referring to this issue, C.P. Singh, Chairman of the TNEB said the maintenance work is being carried out in a phased manner in all the 156 substations coming under the four circles of Chennai. Substations falling under the jurisdiction of the two circles of Chengalpattu and Kancheepuram are also covered.

Noting that the Board is fully geared to meet the demand during the peak summer, Mr Singh makes it clear that there will be no load shedding this summer. The TNEB has taken several steps to improve the supply.

Conceding that infrastructure improvement in the power sector did not keep pace with the real estate boom that Chennai and suburbs witnessed in recent years, Mr. Singh said that eight places in the city and suburbs have been identified to be vulnerable.

To address this problem, eight new substations have been commissioned till now. Five more are to be inaugurated by April 15. Also, the capacity of distribution transformers has been enhanced. A periodical check of the power load in transformers is being carried out. If required, the load bifurcation is effected.

Regarding the problem of low voltage in the suburbs, he said that several complaints had been received from the residents of Rajakilpakkam and Kovilambakkam, on the southern outskirts of the city. The TNEB was in the process of identifying lands to erect substations.

“Next year, there will be relief for the residents to the problem of low voltage,” he added.

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