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Power shutdowns affect Kovai

Published Jun 25, 2015, 1:19 pm IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 6:40 pm IST
Coimbatore is now haunted by frequent power shutdowns due to heavy wind battering the city
Workers sit idle at an industrial unit in Coimbatore due to power break down. (Photo: DC)
 Workers sit idle at an industrial unit in Coimbatore due to power break down. (Photo: DC)
Coimbatore: The days of long power cuts and blackouts are gone, but Coimbatore is now haunted by frequent power shutdowns due to heavy wind battering the city. About 150 breakdowns are reported on a single day in Coimbatore circle comprising Coimbatore, Tirupur and Nilgiris district.
 “We have adequate power to meet the demand, no load shedding has been imposed for industries and urban areas in Coimbatore circle. However, frequent breakdowns are due to heavy winds, which cause disruptions in the distribution network,” said a top official of Tangedco, preferring anonymity.
Over the last few days, Tangedco received upto 150 calls of power breakdowns as against a mere 15-20 calls per day earlier. As power breakdowns during the windy season are common, the staffers of Tangedco are also geared up to tackle the problem. 
“Our staff ensure that emergencies are attended to and the problem is sorted out within a maximum of two hours of receiving a call. Power could be stopped in some areas to take up such repair works,” said the official. 
Meanwhile, if the weather forecast is to be believed, then Tangedco staff should be on their toes for some more time. The Agro Climate Research Centre of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) has made a prediction that wind velocity may be high in the coming days.
“The winds, which remained gentle at an average of around 5 kmph in the first week of June increased gradually and had clocked a maximum of 17kmph on June 22. On Tuesday, the wind blew at 12 kmph and its velocity may again touch 17 kmph on Thursday and Friday,” said S. Panneerselvam, professor and head, Agro Climate Research Centre in TNAU. The wind turbulence, influenced by various local parameters, may be there till September until the end of the South West monsoon. 
Yercaud remains without power for over 48 hours:
After a heavy storm battered Yercaud hill station last week, the hill station was plunged into darkness for two days. Many tribal villages in Yercaud remained "powerless" for more than 48 hours. The Yercaud hill station, dubbed as poor man's Ooty, is plagued by frequent power break-downs. The hill station that draws hundreds of tourists during week-ends, is engulfed in darkness at least twice a month because of disruption in power transmission due to heavy winds, complain residents.
The Yercaud hills has about 67 hilly hamlets which get their power supply through a 100-km long overhead power line from the Hasthampatti power station in Salem city. 
About 12,000 power connections have been provided in the entire Yercaud taluk. 
“We are plagued by frequent power breakdowns. And when the power goes, it takes two days for the power supply to be restored. An alternative underground cable line has to be installed to put an end to the power breakdowns,” says the Yercaud panchayat union's former vice president, P.Ravi.
During stormy weather, tree branches break and fall on the cables that run through the forests. The Electricity Board staff find it too difficult to go into the forest areas and rectify the snapped power lines. This causes delay in restoring power supply, say EB officials.
The key hitch lies in the four-km cable line that runs through the forest area from Kuruvampatti. When heavy winds blow, the bamboo trees fall, snapping the power lines.  "
According to officials, the power line from Hasthampatti to Yercaud is a one-way transmission line. Unless an alternative power line is laid it would be difficult to prevent frequent breakdowns, says a senior official. "We have written to the state government for permission to lay underground cable in the four-km stretch from Kuruvampatti. If the approval is obtained, power breakdowns could be averted,” says the official.
Besides, the EB is considering a proposal to lay a 7-km power cable from the Yercaud foothills through Kundur and Theppakadu, which will help in alternative power transmission during break-downs. However, the people of Yercaud who are frequently left "powerless" are waiting to see the light at the end of the dark tunnel.


Location: Tamil Nadu