Brickbats and bouquets for private power discom

April 2nd, 2010 - 12:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, April 2 (IANS) The transfer of power distribution from government to private hands has got a mixed response in this Taj city. More than 2,000 people had complaints while many others praised the private power discom Torrent Private Limited for its prompt response.
The transfer was not a smooth affair on the first day Thursday with flare ups in at least three localities, reports of 65 breakdowns and eight over-heated transformers that needed immediate replacements.

Within hours of the takeover by Torrent Power Limited, there were more than 2,000 complaints on its helpline.

Dakshinanchal Vidyut Nigam Limited (DVNL) employees continued their strike in the morning but withdrew their stir in the evening following assurance by the state government that Kanpur’s power distribution would not go in private hands.

Dissatisfied consumers, along with the striking employees, blocked road traffic in many parts of the city during the day.

On the other hand, there were many who were pleasantly surprised by the prompt response to faults and redressal of grievances by Torrent officials whose charming ways won many friends.

Torrent General Manager Deepak Thakkar told IANS: “The faults are being attended and proper backup infrastructure being put in place.”

He said the company would focus on prompt maintenance and give advance information to consumers about the rostering and load-shedding schedules.

In 1923, the city of the Taj Mahal got electricity through a private company Martin Burns of Kolkata. The city’s power supply is once again back in private hands after the government-owned DVNL failed to meet the Supreme Court directive of providing uninterrupted power supply to the eco-sensitive Taj Trapezium Zone.

The city has been facing an acute power crisis for many years after the two power houses were shut down in 1978 and 1980 to bring down air pollution level, on the directive of the apex court.

The gap in demand and supply could not be bridged as line losses continued to soar up to 40 percent.

“We have high hopes from Torrent and want to give it a chance to improve supply,” financial consultant Sudhir Gupta said.

Hotel owner Sandip Arora in Taj Ganj wanted Torrent to concentrate efforts on improving conditions in and around the Taj Mahal on a priority basis.

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