Rapidly coming off a cool winter, Bengaluru is back to the usual: hit by water and electricity shortages. Be it combating seasonal ailments or dealing with shortages, know what’s going on and what is to come.
Water | Health
Summer’s here, and so is crisis season. Every year, officials say power cuts and water issues will not plague Bengaluru but each summer the situation remains the same. And if all this were not enough, the heat and humidity of summer bring with it its own problems. Citizen Matters spoke to government officials to find out what people can expect on the power-water front and also to some doctors on how to combat seasonal ailments.
Uninterrupted power…what’s that?
"I have to depend on the generator as there are untimely power cuts. My business is getting affected. This generator also can be only used for making juices. It does not work for the sandwich maker," Ramesh, owner, Juice Junction, Koramangala BDA Complex (Pic: Vaishnavi Vittal)
“This is nothing new, every year summers are the same and every time we hear of a better summer next year,” says Kavita Deshmukh agitatedly. Deshmukh, who lives in HSR Layout, is a mother of two and her children are unable to study because of unscheduled power cuts throughout the day.
Residents of several areas in the city have been reeling under power cuts. This was in addition to the two-hour load shedding already being imposed. Several areas, including Infantry Road, Banashankari III Stage, Yelahanka, Girinagar, Jayanagar, Rajajinagar, Koramangala and Malleswaram are among those impacted.
Last summer, Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) promised 'scheduled' power cuts for the city (as opposed to unscheduled) but the promise remains unmet. BESCOM's H Nagesh, Director, Technical, says, “Irregular rainfalls are the major reason for the power supply shortage throughout the state.” He further mentions that BESCOM is yet to decide on the schedule of power cuts.
Minister for Energy, K S Eshwarappa recently said that the government is buying power from other sources to overcome the shortage. Meanwhile, according to the KPTCL’s Public Relations Officer, the generating unit at Bellary Thermal Power Station had been running at full capacity for the past few weeks. Bengaluru consumes the maximum power in Karnataka and, at the same time, it generates the maximum revenue.
Last year BESCOM promised that, by November 2008, four new 220 KV substations would ensure the city had uninterrupted power supply. These four substations and four more that are in the pipeline (supposed to be commissioned in March 2009) are still being built at a cost of Rs.920 crores. These projects were launched a few years ago but, due to reasons unknown, never took shape.