Frequent power disruptions have Bengaluru residents up in arms
In Nov., Bescom received nearly 3 lakh complaints from citizens in just two zones
Bescom’s application to the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) seeking a tariff hike has not gone down well with citizens, given that residents in several neighbourhoods continue to face power cuts and fluctuations. In November alone, it received nearly 3 lakh complaints from citizens in just two zones.
Residents of Subramanyanagar, for instance, have come to dread Monday mornings. Over the past two months, they have had to put up with a disruption in power supply at 10 a.m. The duration of the disruption varies, but the power cut has become a regular feature. “There are many people, like me, who work from home. We have a Monday meeting at 10 a.m. and without fail, the power is cut. Despite having power backup, the WiFi doesn’t work. I have to make do with alternative arrangements, which are not cheap,” said Namita A. Kumar, a resident of the area.
It’s not just Monday morning when the power goes off. Ms. Kumar claimed that not a day goes by without disruption in power supply. The frequent disruptions in power supply every day also have an impact on performance. The reasons they are given vary from local issues, such as trimming and pruning of tree branches, technical faults in the feeder and conversion of high-tension and low-tension overhead lines to underground cable.
Power cuts cannot be attributed to any increase in consumption as despite many citizens working from home, the average power consumption has not seen any major deviation. After a peak consumption of 3,332.03 million units (MU) in April 2021, power consumption has ranged between 2,842.26 MU and 2569.06 MU from May to October this year, data shows.
Yet Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) receives complaints about disruptions in power supply, apart from voltage fluctuations from those living not just in Subramanyanagar but also in other parts of the city.
Between November 1 and 30, Bescom received 1.59 lakh complaints from Bangalore Metropolitan Area Zone, South. In the north zone, it received 1.4 lakh complaints during the same period. These two zones cover more than 50% of Bescom’s consumers, which also means that a large chunk of the power utility’s revenue also comes from here.
Recently, residents of Anjanapura Township were without power for almost 18 hours. On Wednesday, power supply to Maheshwarinagar in Mahadevapura was disrupted from 11 a.m. A resident took to social media platforms to complain about the same, demanding to know when the power supply would be restored.
Apart from Bengaluru Urban, Bescom supplies power to seven other districts — Bengaluru Rural, Chickballapur, Kolar, Tumakuru, Ramanagaram, Chitradurga, and Davangere. During November, Bescom received 64,442 complaints from consumers coming under Bangalore Rural Area Zone and 12,453 from Chitradurga Zone. Complaints ranged from fuse off, line break down, and pole broken. Bescom claimed to have attended to all these complaints.