TANGEDCO has re-scheduled load-shedding in city and suburbs in areas where examination centres are located

Higher Secondary students breathed easy with a majority of them happy with the outcome of the Language paper I, the first of the Board examinations that began on Thursday. But, what caught the attention of many was to see anxious parents curious to know if power was disrupted or whether alternative arrangements were made at examination centres.

Generator sets

A group of parents outside Thiru-Vi-Ka Higher Secondary School was heard discussing that schools have hired generator sets, but what if those also fail? The best solution, according to parents, was to postpone power cuts to the afternoon by when students would complete the exam.

Those in schools on Harrington Road, Chetpet, said power supply was disrupted from 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. for maintenance work. St. Bede's Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School, Santhome, had two-hour load-shedding (12 p.m. to 2 p.m.) but because of the spacious rooms and sea breeze from across the road, the management felt students would not complain.

A senior official of Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) said no load-shedding was carried out from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in areas where the examination centres were located. Of 139 schools where the examinations were held, officials have identified 34 examination centres including government, government-aided, Corporation-run and private schools, falling under the two-hour load shedding slot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For these examination centres, they would be implementing load-shedding between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. during the examination days starting from Thursday.

This was possible as the city and suburbs had a ring-type distribution network, where they are able to isolate a particular area where the examination centre is located to carry out the routine load-shedding.

Although the government has promised to reimburse aided and private schools for hiring generator sets, school heads say they would still have to bear additional expense. “We spend Rs. 2,000 hiring a generator set during examination days and when there is no exam, we shell out Rs.1,000. The government will reimburse Rs.26,800 for aided schools, but that's not enough,” said the headmaster of a school in Anna Nagar.

The scheduled load-shedding time for the school is between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. but invigilators are present in the school by 9 a.m. and students enter the hall by 9.30 a.m.

“Our generator set is switched on at 9 a.m.,” said the school head.

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