Frequent power cuts have made life miserable for people of every strata in society. Thanks to the apathy of administrators and policy makers who have failed to make appropriate arrangements for generating adequate power, expecting the future demand.
The power problem has not only worsened the students’ life, but also commercial establishments, small scale industries located in and around the city. It is reported that thousands of migrant labourers were leaving the city as the industries are either closing down due to power cut or being not operated to full capacity.
Various consumer groups, NGOs, political parties and residents have staged protests condemning the Electricity Supply Companies for the irregular power supply. In spite of all this, the power problem is not being rectified which only shows lack of will on the part of the administration. To check out the pulse of the people, SOM spoke to several of them. Excerpts:
"In addition to the regular load shedding at fixed hours, there are random power cuts. The total power disruption in a day extends for more than 5-6 hours. This has disrupted normal lives. The government should find some solution to solve this problem. It has not taken any steps to curb wasteful usage of power in city surroundings, like bill-board lighting, ornamental illumination etc. On the other hand it is spending crores of rupees for Utsavs and Jathas. If they can spend so much money for in one day, why can’t they purchase power from neighboring States?" questions Chaya, a resident of T.K. Layout.
"We are facing lot of problems due to power cut. This has affected supply of drinking water as water supply in our locality depends on the availability of power. There is no big sump to store water here. Water scarcity causes tension among resi- dents while trying to collect water. We also fear spread of seasonal summer diseases like Diarrhoea, Cholera and Dysentery," says residents of Kesare and Naidu Nagar.
"Whenever there is power cut, we feel suffocated and perspire badly. This affects my concentration on studies. It is indeed strange that government has failed to maintain regular supply of power, a basic amenity," says Smitha, a B.Sc student.
"Various NGOs and environmental organisations are responsible for the present power problem. When the proposal for setting up a thermal power plant at Chamalapura was suggested, they held protests citing environment and related reasons and got the entire project cancelled. Where do they think power will come from without a power plant? If it had posed an environmental threat, they could have proposed another alternative site or alternate methods like nuclear or gas based power plants. Instead, the whole project was called off. In fact the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) has already established guidelines on how to treat the effluents generated in a coal based thermal power plant. If the concerned NGOs and environmentalists had shown the same aggressiveness in implementing the guidelines mentioned by NEERI, the project would have been completed and added extra power to our grid, at least mitigating to some extent the power crisis, which will only worsen in the future, going by the current state of affairs," says S. Sharath Chandra, Proprietor Shobha Electricals, dealer in electrical accessories.