Long power cuts, erratic water supply and authority bodies squabbling over whose responsibility it is, while residents can do nothing but sit in the dark and wring their hands. Doesn't give a very merry picture, does it? Ask residents of Sushant Lok-I on MG Road, Gurgaon.
According to residents, power cuts extend up to eight hours a day. "Our day begins with a power cut! While authorities keep teling us things will improve, the situation has not changed and long power cuts have now become the norm," said Mannat Jain, a resident.
Manish Bhargava, another resident, said, “After every hour, we face a power cut of another hour. In our area, we have six- to eight-hour-long power cuts. The situation is so bad that we are not even being able to charge our inverter batteries. Generators can be heard running most of the time and they cause a lot of air pollution.”
According to Dr AK Nagpal, president of the RWA, the problem is because of ongoing maintenance work. “Monday's power cut was due to a problem in the electricity supply line. But whatever the reason, at the end of the day, it is always the residents that suffer,” he added.
Every complaint becomes a trigger for a new blame game between the Dakshin Hayana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN), the RWA and the developer. A DHBVN executive engineer said, “Maintenance of power infrastructure is the RWA's responsibility. But it has outsourced the work to a private contractor, who has not carried out the work properly. This is what is causing the power cuts. Residents don't understand this, but start blaming government agencies for every issue."
The RWA, on the other hand, claims that there is a tripartite agreement between the RWA, DHBVN and the Ansals Group (the private contractor), and that it has outsourced the maintenance contract based on the agreement terms. "The responsibility of maintenance either rests with the developer or the discom [distribution company], as we are paying them for the supply. DHBVN says it is the duty of the developer to maintain infrastructure, but even it has washed its hands off the problem. The developer was supposed to have built a power station in the area, but is yet to do so,” added Nagpal.
They say the morning shows the day. And if the day begins with power cuts regularly, it needs to be looked into and fixed as soon as possible.