Agra residents protest erratic power supply

January 9th, 2011 - 10:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, Jan 9 (IANS) Even as the mercury plummeted to 0.6 degrees Celsius Sunday, the Taj city witnessed heated protests in several parts over electricity shortages, with the residents saying the experiment with a private power distributor had failed.Long hours of power disruption affected Free Ganj, Moti Lal Nehru Road and the posh Kamla Nagar colony as a couple of transformers crashed Saturday.

Mathura and Hathras too were affected as transformers at the Peeli Pokhar sub-station tripped.

Eight months after the private discom Torrent Power took over from the state-owned Dakshinanchal Vidhyut Vitran Nigam Ltd., power supply in the city continues to remain erratic and inadequate, locals say.

“The situation is worse today after Torrent took over,” a protestor said in Shah Ganj.

The power breakdown affected the water supply as well, compounding problems for the residents.

Many consumers said the electronic meters installed by the company are “running faster than the Shatabdi Express”.

Political parties too have led protests against the power situation, with local leaders threatening to intensify their agitations if the company failed to take action.

But the company officials say the ground reality was different.

Senior manager Pankaj Saxena told IANS: “It’s all motivated. Politicians need issues to mobilise voters. Before we took over, the city was without power for long hours and nobody ever bothered to attend to complaints. Bill payment was full of hassles. Now the city is getting power supply for upto 23 hours. Complaints are booked at the call centre round the clock and promptly attended to.”

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