Pradeep Pattanayak

Given that 92,488 complaints relating to power supply were registered alone in Bhubaneswar between June 2020 and September 2022, it stands to reason that the service provided by Tata Power is allegedly not up to the mark. 

The state government handed over the power distribution service to Tata Power in June 2020, with the objective to ensure better service to the consumers. 

Has Tata Power stood up to the expectations of the government, and the consumers? The answer to this question lies in the information received through RTI. 

As per an RTI report, as many as 92,488 complaints were registered in Bhubaneswar during the period between June 2020 and September 2022. The number of complaints would peak if the complaints registered across the state are put together. 

Shockingly, a lion’s share of the total complaints is with respect to power cut. They are 67,802 in number. While 9,762 of these complaints were received from Chandrasekharpur Phase II area, 8680 were from Kanan Vihar area. 

Besides the power cut issue, complaints were also registered for low voltage issue. During the same period mentioned above, 11129 complaints were registered. For other issues, a total of 13,557 complaints were received. 

“If Bhubaneswar is taken as an example, here 92,488 complaints were registered between June 2020 and September 2022,” informed Biswapriya Kanungo, RTI activist. 

“It seems to be a scam. When there were frequent power cuts in summer days, we thought Tata Power might have signed a pact with inverter companies because people would feel forced to buy inverters to get rid of the scorching heat,” said Ballav Sahu, an electricity consumer, Bhubaneswar. 

In the meantime, Tata Power has sought more time to streamline its service, saying there would be no power cuts after two years. 

“In the coming one or two years, you will find the same reliability as consumers are getting in cities like Delhi,” informed Sanjay Kumar Banga, President, T&D, Tata Power. 

When contacted, OERC deputy director Sanjay Kumar Rout said, “There are no power cuts as they used to be. The number of complaints is increasing because the number of consumers has increased and they have easy access to lodge complaints.”

Energy Minister Pratap Deb said, “There were power cuts for 15 days because the unit at Darlipali had been shut down due to some technical problems. The power cuts experienced now are not actually power cuts. There are power cuts due to some other reasons like tree felling etc. It takes time to fix these issues.”