Earth hour, a crude joke for Agra

March 29th, 2009 - 2:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, March 29 (IANS) Observing Earth Hour by switching off lights from 8.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. Saturday was termed “a crude joke” by Agra residents who anyway face sporadic power cuts of varying durations everyday.
“When large areas of the city remain without power on a daily basis, aren’t we already saving energy and aiding environmental conservation,” eco-activist Ravi Singh asked.

While rural areas hardly ever get power, the urban clusters in the city suffer power breakdowns every now and then.

“The whole of Saturday we have seen lights going off every two hours without notice… the Earth Hour drive was a crude joke as far as residents of the city of the Taj were concerned,” said businessman Bankey Lal Maheshwari.

He said although a directive has been issued by the Supreme Court that the whole of Taj Trapezium Zone spread over 10,000 sq km should get uninterrupted power supply, the city faces power cuts.

Also, Agra suffers as a result of an ongoing tussle between the state-owned power corporation and a private player Torrent which clinched the bid for power distribution within the city limits.

“The power corporation staffers are unhappy and have been opposing the transfer to the private company. Many permanent employees fear they would be shunted to rural areas and would perhaps not be able to receive underhand money any longer,” an industrialist Rajeev Kumar said.

“If a star tourist destination like Agra with three heritage monuments can not be assured of assured power supply, it is better that the government bodies hand over the supply to the private sector so that consumers are not harassed and get full value for their money,” Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society president Surendra Sharma said.

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