B. Madhu Gopal

Severe heat and power cuts robbing senior citizens of their afternoon siesta

One-hour power cut in the afternoon most disgusting, says a senior citizen

ELR being done whenever there is a drop in generation, says EPDCL official

VISAKHAPATNAM: The erratic and unscheduled power cuts in the city in addition to the scheduled cuts is making senior citizens, students and virtually all sections of the people seethe with rage against the electricity authorities.

The oppressive summer heat coupled with power cuts in the afternoon is robbing senior citizens of their afternoon siesta. School children are at their wits end, as they can neither sit down and watch TV nor go out and play in the hot sun.

The one-hour cut in the afternoon is the most disgusting feature to senior citizens, who are used to taking a nap after lunch. B. Venkateswara Rao of Appayyanagar Colony was annoyed when the power went off for a third time in a gap of less than five hours. He dialled the EPDCL Call Centre to find out what was wrong. He flew into a rage as a staff member replied “power cut sir”. But, you haven't informed of it through the newspapers?

The call centre woman changed her statement and said, “It's ELR (Emergency Load Relief) which cannot be informed beforehand.”

“We have nothing against the morning power cut. The 2 p.m to 3 p.m. power cut is getting us on our nerves. The dipping groundwater level is another cause for worry. “We are being forced to switch on the motor several times as very less water is being drawn and the overhead tanks are going empty frequently,” says K. Bhaskara Rao of Seethammadhara.

Voltage fluctuations

“Sometimes power is going off at nights also though it's for a short duration. On Tuesday night, power went off for three times of five minutes duration each,” said a resident of an apartment complex at Maddilapalem, who didn't want to be identified. There are also complaints of voltage fluctuations. Students appearing for competitive examinations and EAMCET are feeling the heat as the hot weather is sapping their energy and power cut is making the situation worse. The afternoon power cut timings could be re-scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. “Such a measure would not only provide great relief to senior citizens but could also result in huge power saving as lights would be switched on late,” feel many people.

“Power cuts are imposed from 10 a.m to 11 a.m. and from 2 p.m to 3 p.m. in the city daily. Four-hour cuts are being imposed at mandal headquarters,” Superintending Engineer of Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (EPDCL) B. Seshu Kumar told The Hindu.

When his attention was drawn to the unscheduled cuts, he said that ELR was being done whenever there was a drop in generation. Hourly load monitoring was being done at the Load Despatch Centre in Hyderabad, he said, and added that no power cut was being done from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. as per the instructions of the State Government.