Gridco-CESU ‘communication gap’ leaves consumers reeling

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Bhubaneswar: With the mercury level rising by the day, lack of coordination between Gridco and distribution company (discom) Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU) resulted in long power cuts today making life miserable in much of coastal Odisha.

The Gridco had issued an order to CESU for power cut in a ‘phased manner’, but CESU apparently got it wrong and announced six hours of load shedding in two phases.

“We will have to cut 20 per cent of power due to shortage of electricity. The load shedding will be between 6 am and 9.30 am in the morning and 3 pm and 6 pm in the evening. This power cut is only for tomorrow”, CESU CGM PK Padhi had said yesterday.

But, Gridco authorities attributed the power cut to a ‘communication gap’. “We had told them to cut power in rotation basis, which should not have been more than half an hour at any place. But they got it wrong and announced a six-hour long power cut. There was a gap in communication” Gridco director PK Pradhan said.

On the other hand, the lack of coordination has forced consumers to pay a heavy price in the sweltering heat.

“Power cut is unscheduled in our area. School students are suffering. The elderly people spend the day time under trees,” a resident from Jajpur town said.

The CESU move has compounded the woes of consumers who have been reeling under low voltage for long. “We are reeling under low voltage crisis for the last five years. The electricity authorities have made only false commitments against our repeated complaints,” a resident of Pattamundai area in Kendrapara district said.

This being the situation at the start of April, consumers have already started apprehending acute power crisis during May and June.

On its part, Gridco, which claims to have managed power efficiently, has said will decide the future course of action in a meeting later this month.

“We will convene a meeting most probably in the second or third week of April where it would be decided what to do in May and June,” Gridco director PK Pradhan said.

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