Special Correspondent

Upset over officials' failure to replace faulty transformers Upset over officials' failure to replace faulty transformers

Official's assuranceTwo transformers will be sent to Shahapur immediatelyFaulty transformers will be replaced in a fortnight

SHAHAPUR: It was an unusual spectacle for people. Agricultural Marketing Minister Sharanabasappa Darshanapur locked the office of the executive engineer of the Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company (GESCOM) in the town on Saturday for failure of officials to replace faulty transformers in Shahapur taluk.

Mr. Darshanapur, who is also the district in-charge Minister, took the step after failing in his repeated attempts to persuade GESCOM authorities to replace transformers that were not working from March, disrupting power supply to drinking water projects and irrigation pumpsets.

Mr. Darshanapur, elected from the Shahapur Assembly Constituency, was here on Saturday to hear grievances from the public. People from different villages complained to the Minister about disruption in power supply in their villages and the unhelpful attitude of the GESCOM authorities in replacing faulty transformers.

The Minister summoned the executive engineer concerned and enquired about the action taken on his direction given earlier to replace 23 transformers. The official said that new transformers were not supplied to him and hence faulty ones were sent to the regional workshop at Yadgir for repair.

Dissatisfied with the reply, the Minister went out of the meeting hall. He led the people from different villages to the GESCOM office and asked officials to vacate the building and locked up the office. He said that there was no need for a GESCOM office in Shahapur town if it did not attend to the problems of its consumers.

It was only after the managing director of GESCOM gave an assurance in writing that two transformers would be sent to Shahapur on Saturday and another 12 before June 8 that Mr. Darshanapur relented and allowed the lock to be opened. The managing director also assured him that the remaining faulty transformers would be replaced in a fortnight.

Later Mr. Darshanapur told The Hindu that his repeated reminders to the managing director and other officials to replace faulty transformers were not heeded.

Special review meeting

He said that in the last Karnataka Development Programme quarterly review meeting, the GESCOM managing director was summoned and directions given to replace faulty transformers in the district immediately. However, the direction was not implemented, he added.

Mr. Darshanapur said that he would convene a special review meeting on the working of the GESCOM on June 8 or 9 in Gulbarga city. All elected representatives would be invited to the meeting, where consumers' problems would be discussed.