March 24, 2011

Power cut infuriates public

P. Sudhakar, The Hindu, 24 March 2011

TIRUNELVELI: Even as the State Government is repeatedly reiterating that there was only two-hours power-cut in the urban areas, the entire district including Palayamkottai and Tirunelveli went without electricity for over five hours on Wednesday.

The statement issued by the Executive Engineer, TNEB (Urban), S. Pitchamuthu on Tuesday said the duration of “load-shedding” in some of the areas under his jurisdiction would be only two hours.

However, the entire district went without power for more than three hours on Tuesday.

The situation worsened on Wednesday as the power-cut duration was increased to over five hours.

Power supply that was interrupted exactly at 6 a.m. in several parts of Palayamkottai was restored only at 9.25 a.m.

Again the problem continued at regular intervals, taking the power-cut duration to over 5 hours.

“This is due to the problem we are facing in the power generation from the windmills. We used to get 1,000 MW from the wind turbine generators with optimum wind velocity and the generation will be only 50 per cent as the wind velocity goes down. Unfortunately the wind power generation has become nil during the past 48 hours, forcing us to clamp load-shedding for the increased duration,” said a senior TNEB official.

The problem worsened further on Wednesday when all five units of Tuticorin Thermal Power Station (TTPS) suddenly tripped, resulting in an abrupt loss of 1,050 MW generation from the coal-based power station.

While the prolonged power cut has infuriated the public very much, the negligent behaviour of the personnel manning the round-the-clock control room during night, has further incensed the consumers whenever power cut is enforced in the night in the guise of ‘emergency load-shedding.’

“When the ‘emergency load-shedding’ was clamped last night (between 10.35 p.m. and 11.05 p.m.), the receiver of the control room phone (0462 – 12660) was put down purposely to avoid the consumers’ wrath. This reckless attitude cannot be justified by any means,” said S. Muthukrishnan, a bank employee.

“The consumers need not worry about the present situation as the prevailing condition at TTPS will improve soon,” hoped the official.

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