It's time to see the light, Bescom!

The other solution is for the government to build power capacity, in his view.

Marathon power cuts are synonymous with rain in Bengaluru and we're no closer to implementing a solution today than we were a decade ago. Moving from archaic transformers to underground cables and alternative energy sources is the answer. Or better still, get off the grid completely! Install rooftop panels, become self-reliant and never worry about another power cut! Revolutionary solutions are aplenty, why isn't anybody listening, ask Chandrashekar G. and Aknisree Karthik

The April showers that the city can nearly always rely on to cool it when the summer gets a little hot for comfort, plunged some parts of the city into darkness on Monday as tree branches fell on power cables, snapping them. While this happens regularly in heavy rain and wind, the city was as unprepared as always to deal with the crisis. But it's not always the rain that is to blame. The city's old transformers too often give up and stop working, leaving localities in the dark for hours without warning.

The solution could be for people to switch to alternative forms of energy, say experts. The escoms should ideally be buying power from households and not selling it to them, believes urban expert Ashwin Mahesh, strongly backing production of rooftop solar energy in homes.

“ The government must do more to promote rooftop alternative energy and buy this safe and green energy from the public for supply to the power grid,” he says. And his advice to Bengalureans is “ Get off the Bescom grid and take up rooftop alternative energy to be self- reliant and get uninterrupted power supply.”

While it could be expensive to begin with, people will be able to recover the cost as this alternative source of energy will prove cheaper to use in the long run, he reasons. Also, their lives will no longer be ruled by snapping overhead power cables or transformers gone bad, he points out.

The other solution is for the government to build power capacity, in his view. “The power crisis is not new and has been felt for the last several years. So the government must assess the deficit. If say, 400 MW is the deficit, it should add 100 MW to its capacity each year to make up for it. This is one of the easiest solutions ,” he says.

Some also suggest that Bengaluru should switch to underground power cables to stop them from snapping in heavy rain and wind. Says Mr Suraj Singh Negi, CEO, Product Innovation Academy, "Power failures owing to trees and branches falling on electric poles could have become a thing of the past had Bescom shifted all overhead power cables underground."

But not all experts agree. In their view the cost involved could prove a huge obstacle. At best, it could be done for a few important localities, in their view.

Power supply interrupted 15 times on Tuesday: Residents

“It was around 4.30 pm on Monday when a big tree was uprooted near our office owing to the heavy rain and strong wind. As the tree fell on an the electric pole, power supply to the entire area was affected and it has still not been restored," complains Mr Suraj Singh Negi, CEO of Product Innovation Academy in Koramangala 4th block

“ Even the UPS lasted only for a few hours. It is sad that a city known globally for its technology and innovation plunges into darkness after just a short spell of rain," he adds with disgust.

For many the power troubles of Monday spilled over into Tuesday as well as the power supply in parts of the city continued to fluctuate.

"Our power supply was interrupted over 15 times on Tuesday as well. We switched off our television and refrigerator fearing that the frequent power fluctuation would damage them," said Ms Rekha Karthik of Basavanagudi.

Traffic too was affected on Tuesday as the roads remained a mess with the BBMP still working to clear them of fallen trees and branches. With the work holding up traffic, people, already having to go without power on a hot summer day, had to put with the additional inconvenience of moving at snail’s space on the roads.

Some also suggest that Bengaluru should switch to underground power cables to stop them from snapping in heavy rain and wind. But this could be easier said than done, considering the cost involved, say some experts, suggesting that it could be done for a few important localities at best.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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