Candlelight march held to protest Jharkhand power crisis

April 29th, 2008 - 3:18 pm ICT by admin  

Ranchi, April 29 (IANS) Over a hundred people staged a candlelight march here to protest against poor electricity supply in Jharkhand even as a group of activists is planning to gift the chief minister a lantern to draw his attention to the problems arising from frequent power cuts. Protestors, under the banner of Nagrik Yuva Vikas Manch (NYVM), hit the streets of Ranchi Monday night.

“Jharkhand is gradually plunging into darkness. Ranchi witnesses 10 to 12 hours of load shedding everyday. Our children have to study using candles and lanterns,” said Sanjay Kumar, a NYVM member.

The Jharkhand Yuva Sangharsh Samiti said it has decided to gift a lantern each to Chief Minister Madhu Koda and other state ministers to draw their attention to the problems faced by people due to power shortage.

Even government officials have joined the chorus of demand for regular power supply.

Sources said that in a letter to the chief minister, Jamshedpur Deputy Commissioner Nitin Kulkarni spoke of his district witnessing a scorching summer with the mercury already touching 44 degrees Celsius. The poor power supply has compounded the people’s problems.

Jharkhand High Court Monday reprimanded Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) for the poor electricity supply. The court also sought a status report of generation and consumption of power in the state and steps taken by the board to improve the situation.

Jharkhand needs about 800 mw of power everyday. The power plants in the state generate about 200 mw per day, while Jharkhand purchases about 200 mw of electricity from the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

The erratic power supply has also affected the water supply in the state.

“People should restrict their consumption of electricity. The JSEB will cut connections to display hoardings to save on power,” said the chief minister.

“DVC does not supply power properly. Every summer, it diverts electricity meant for Jharkhand to West Bengal, putting the state in a power crisis,” said a JSEB official.

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