C. Jaishankar

All sections of people are affected

RAMANATHAPURAM: Unscheduled power cuts are causing severe inconvenience to almost all sections of the people, including traders and homemakers. Though there was a brief respite between the second week of May and June, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) has once again resorted to unscheduled power cuts in the district.

Power supply is being suspended for more than five to six hours a day — two to three hours in the morning and another two hours in the evening. In rural areas, power supply is stopped for about eight hours a day. But there is no announcement when the supply will be stopped.

Consumers feel that power-cut related problems are severe now than the summer months. It is an irony that the situation has become especially severe after an announcement made at the recent inauguration of the second unit of Vazhuthur power plant — that power produced from the plant will be distributed to Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga districts.

It is not that the trade and industry alone bear the power cut problems, students, homemakers and children have been undergoing hardships in the last two weeks. Though there are no examinations nowadays, school and college students are also badly affected.

“We cannot even imagine life without power, as we have switched to modern cooking methods. There is no proper announcement or standard practice about enforcing power cuts. I couldn’t complete my work on time due to sudden power shutdown,” said a homemaker in Bharathi Nagar here.

“We use lights in daytime also so that we can attract customers. Nowadays, we are forced to run the shops without lights. It has affected the overall business,” says a textile merchant in Ramanathapuram. According to reports, power cuts are acute in rural areas compared to the district headquarters. Areas such as Paramakudi, Rameswaram, Kilakarai, R.S. Managalam, Kadaladi, Kamudhi, Mandapam and Thiruvadanai are bearing the brunt of the power crisis.

Textile production in Paramakudi, farming operations in some areas and ice units in Rameswaram Island have been badly affected.

Different yardstick

“The TNEB is following a different yardstick for urban and rural areas in supplying power. There is no standard practice in stopping power supply. While it suspends power supply in urban areas for a few hours, it stops it in rural areas for several hours together,” says a Defence officer based at Uchipuli.

TNEB sources say that power shortage is a State-wide phenomenon and steps are being taken to sort out the problem.