But if the situation persists, they'll take to the streets against PVVNL.
Imagine powercuts that last for 24 to 36 hours… and now imagine living through this recurrent nightmare since the last 45 days! Residents of ATS Advantage have now reached the end of their tether, and they've threatened to take to the streets against Pashchimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (PVVNL) if the problem persists.
The latest one started at 7 am on Saturday and extended till 10 am on Sunday.
“This is the second instance of power going off for more than a day. Earlier, we faced 36-hour-long powercuts. We do have diesel generators (DG) sets to tide over the situation, but it’s also burning holes into our hard-earned money. Residents are being forced to pay three times the cost of usual bill due to high back-up power charges,” complained Abhishek Singh, AOA vice-president, ATS Advantage.
Besides the high charges, pollution is another important factor to consider, Singh pointed out. “We approximately consume 1,000 litres of diesel every hour. So, if we run a DG for 27 hours, we’re burning 27,000 litres, which is a huge environmental cost.”
Singh also said that due to widening of NH-24, the electricity lines of the society have been badly damaged. “So, we are on temporary arrangement from Kaala Patthar sub-station.”
ATS Advantage is one of the biggest societies in Ghaziabad with 2,000 flats and around 10,000 residents. Considering its size, the society was provided 33kV (Kilo Volts) power from Vaishali sub-station, whereas other societies of the locality are catered conjointly from Kala Patthar sub-station.
But things aren’t any better.
A senior citizen and a retiree lamented, “I can’t afford DG rates for such long periods. We have to pay Rs 15 per unit to avail back up power, whereas main power comes for Rs 4 per unit. So, I have had to switch off AC, TV and other high-power consuming appliances.”
Retiree or not, everybody is facing the brunt.
Working woman Sheetal Kapoor, who only gets weekends to complete pending chores of the week like washing and ironing, is facing difficult times too. Her gripe: “If power goes off during this time, I would’ve to stay delay my chores which consume more power. So, all the work remains pending — that’s tough given the fact that I don’t get rest of the week to finish off the work.”
Sanjay Jain, AOA President, concurs. “Every time, this happens during the weekends — causing even more mayhem. Whenever there’s a fault, they take more than a day to locate the problem and fix, as they have to hire a fault locator machine.”
Another resident, who didn’t want to be named, added there’s shortage of fault-finding machines in power cables — in fact, there’s just one machine in the whole of Ghaziabad.
However, executive engineer SK Pandey said that one machine is enough for the city area. “Cable fault finding machine is not a small device. A single unit can manage the whole city. Noida, too, has just one such machine,” he said.
While sub-divisional officer (SDO) Avinash Chawdhary, acknowledged the difficulties the residents are facing, he also held the society management responsible for these frequent faults. “Half the time, the faults happen at the society’s end. In the recent incident, the problem was with electrical grid of the society. True, electricity distribution cables get damaged during digging, but we try to address the problem immediately,”he said.
He continued, “The management never tries to reach me to discuss the problem. If I have to communicate that the problem is in the society’s cables, whom should I speak with?”
City Spidey tried to reach out to ATS maintenance chief, Anil Jai Singh, but he refused to comment on the matter