As another summer approaches, residents of Noida turn apprehensive about long power cuts. Officials from the power sector, however, continue speaking cheerfully about the city being a "no-power-cut zone".
But residents know better than to buy into this claim.
Vipin Malhan, president of Noida Entrepreneurs Association (NEA), says the Industrial Sector Phase III experienced at least 10 hours of power cut every day last summer.
To Rishi Pal Singh, president of the Sector 19 RWA, three to four hours of power cut every day is nothing new. "Power cuts have already started this year, and it's not even peak summer yet," he adds.
Vimal Sharma, president of the Sector 50 RWA, has the same tale to tell. "These claims by the electricity department are nothing but farce," he says.
NP Singh, president of the Federation of Noida RWAs (FONRWA), says that residential and industrial sectors of the city face continuous power cuts during the sweltering summers. "A minimum of two to three hours of power cut every day is common in most residential sectors," he says.
When City Spidey took this up with Mukul Singhal, superintending engineer, Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (PVVNL), he said the department was ready to meet the dry season. "We have started maintenance-related work, which will be completed by April 15. We guarantee uninterrupted power supply after this," he added.
According to Singhal, the current consumption of the city is 430 million units, with an approximate peak demand of 800-1,000 megawatts in summer. "We get an assured supply of 1,000 megawatts. Approval of the new transformers will further ease the load," he said. "The only reason power may be disrupted is if construction or maintenance work is in progress."
He also said that the department had started an SMS-alert facility to inform residents before a power cut. This is only available to residents who have their numbers registered with the electricity department. However, most are not aware such a facility exists.
Again, the customer-care centre of the electricity department has only one line, which is not enough to deal with more than one call at a time. When City Spidey asked Singhal about this, he said, "We will soon set up a bigger call centre with multiple lines."
Yes, they are quite ready for the summer, we see.