`Unannounced' power cuts put residents to hardship

CHENNAI OCT. 5. Residents in the northern and southern fringes of the city, these days, have one thing common. They are experiencing the spell of "undeclared power cut".

The entire belt from Pallavaram to Guduvancheri in the south and Jawahar Nagar in the north are among the affected areas. Residents say the power cut, at times, lasts more than for two-three hours. More than the experience of having to go without electricity, they feel more aggrieved that there is no prior information about the shutdown and they are not sure how long the supply will last even when it resumes.

Parasuraman of Vandalur says "we experience four to eight hours power cut at a stretch at times". R. Kalyani of Jawahar Nagar said the interruption in the supply affected school students, who were preparing for examinations. "The officials concerned are indifferent to our plight".

Another resident from Guduvancheri said "if we know the exact period of power interruption, we can plan our domestic activity".

Though the problem of disruption in the supply is nothing new to them, the situation has become worse since last week's grid disturbance, the residents add.

When contacted, an official of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board said: "As we have to maintain the supply in the core parts of the city without much disruption, we have to resort to shutdown in suburbs. We are switching off the supply only when we have to maintain stability in the flow of electricity in inter-state feeders".

Meanwhile, the supply in the southern coastal belt of Thiruvanmiyur to Palavakkam went off this evening from 6 p.m. Technical snags at the local substation were cited as the reason for the disruption. "There is no supply from the junction of Lattice-Bridge Road and East Coast Road to Palvakkam for nearly four hours", a resident of Srinivasapuram said. The supply was restored at 10.20 p.m.

Responding to a news report on the interruption of supply in Kodambakkam a few days ago, the TNEB, in a statement, stated that a cable fault led to tripping of Ganga Nagar feeder, which was the reason for the disruption in the supply in the locality on the night of September 30. "However, the TNEB has restored the supply to all the areas through back-feeding arrangements at 00-30 hours on October 1", the statement added.

The official expressed the hope that the supply in the city would improve once the Neyveli power station started generation again.

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