PUNE: More than 1,000 residents of four housing societies located near the Porwal Road area of Lohegaon had to face a 30-hour power cut due to extensive damage to a power cable, which was reported at 3 am on June 25. The power was restored as late as 1 pm on June 27, the residents said. They alleged that despite several online complaints to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL), the public utility did not address their complaints promptly due to which the residents of one of the affected housing societies had to dash off a written complaint to the MSEDCL authorities following which, the power was finally restored.
As many as 300 residents of one of the four housing societies, Tranquil Park, faced their worst ordeal due to the lack of power supply. Ashish Tambe, society chairman, said, “The power supply went off early in the morning at 3 am after which we followed-up on Twitter. In the afternoon, we got the information that restoration will take four more hours but in vain. Later, we went to the MSEDCL office and the staffers present there informed us that it would take another four hours. We had no electricity till today afternoon. The entire society was affected, more so women, children and senior citizens.”
Tambe said that the society spent Rs12,000 towards diesel expenses for generator back-up for the 30 hours during which there was no power supply. “We are paying taxes to the government, including our power bills, on time but look at the pathetic service of the MSEDCL. We spent Rs12,000 on diesel and also tweeted about it to MSEDCL. Despite paying our power bills, we were forced to shell out extra money for generator backup and the fault lies with the MSEDCL authorities,” Tambe said.
Apart from Tranquil Park, three other housing societies including Prathamesh Residency and Park Spring were left to their own devices for a prolonged period. Mahesh Sangamkar, a resident of Park Spring Society, said, “The power supply infrastructure in our area is obsolete and there is a need to pump more of the taxpayers’ and power bill payers’ money into erecting robust infrastructure for MSEDCL power supply in the area. School students, patients and senior citizens suffered the most, including homemakers, due to the inept and inefficient handling of the issue by the MSEDCL authorities.”
Tranquil Society in its written complaint to the Vishrant Wadi division of MSEDCL pointed out the problem of poor power infrastructure due to which the society had been suffering frequent power cuts anywhere between six and 40 hours in the past two months. The society requested the MSEDCL to overhaul the complete power infrastructure in the area.
Whereas the MSEDCL public relations office (PRO) issued a release saying: “At 12 noon on Tuesday, June 27, power supply was restored to three transformers on Porwal Road in Lohegaon. Due to heavy rains, humidity was created in underground channels due to waterlogging that resulted in technical failures in the power system which took place one after the other due to heavy rains.”
The release further said, “The power failure occurred on Monday, June 26, at around 2.30 am in the morning wherein Elemento 22 KV power line failed due to the rain. At 3.26 am, MSEDCL employees restored power supply to 80% of the areas through Sathe Vasti power line in alternative form. However, due to waterlogging around the feeder pillar near Prathamesh Residency on Porwal Road, moisture had accumulated in the underground channels. Due to this, power supply to the remaining eight units on Elemento 22 KV power line was interrupted. At 7 am, the work of removing moisture from the vessels and conducting the pressure test started. Due to continuous rain, there was difficulty in the repair work. There was a breakdown in the Dhanori-BSNL 22 KV power line coming from the Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company’s ultra-high voltage substation. Hence, first of all, the repair of this power line was necessary. Accordingly, after the repair work, power supply was started at 6.30 pm. After that, power supply was restored to five out of the eight transformers on Porwal Road at 9 pm through repair work. Two-hundred-and-fifty consumers in Prathamesh Residency and Tranquil Park Society were without power supply due to the remaining three switches that were switched off.”