BANGALORE: Come March, the last day of the month is celebrated all over the world as ‘Earth Hour’ by switching off power for a minimum period of one hour to show our solidarity with millions of people, thereby, sending a powerful message for action on climate change. However, in Bangalore, we need not switch off power for one of the largest environment events in the history of the earth as the Bescom (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company) usually does it for us in different ways.
It has been more than five years now when the far-flung areas of Bangalore including seven CMCs and one TP were added to the city, but the city fathers never thought about its management or provision of civic facilities in the newly added wards.
Most residents complain about frequent power shutdowns for long hours as well as power outages. There are some wards in Yelahanka, Marathahalli, Bangalore South and Rajarajeswari Nagar that have been facing 4-6 hours of power shutdown without the Bescom giving any updates or information especially during the summer months.
City Express spoke to some residents in these areas who say where is the need to celebrate Earth Hour as they do it daily. One resident, Seetharam of Poornaprajna Layout in Uttarhalli ward said,”Every day, power is cut from 11 am onwards and it only comes in the evening and therefore, we have invested in expensive battery generators. With the result, we are utilising power by hoarding it and also fearing power cuts, we run our water pumps more frequently. When supply is restored, the power surge is so high that both my television set as well as battery generator have conked off. Now, who will pay for the repairs?”
Another resident, a retired government employee, Suma says, “It is not safe to walk on the roads as usually even the street lights are not working. In my opinion, we are celebrating Earth Hour daily as Bescom is only bothered about the older wards and not the not the newly added ones.”
The story is the same wherever one visits in the outer areas of the city, totally neglected and apathetic authorities. Although the residents completely support the concept of Earth Hour, they are very bitter and say there is unfair distribution of civic services be it either power or water compared to the wards in the heart of the city.
On the occasion of Earth Hour, Yellapa Reddy, the well known environmentalist said, “Human beings are the only species who require artificial light to survive. Since energy is available today, there are some people who cannot even imagine surviving without an air conditioner in their office, car or at home. On the contrary, there are a significant number of people surviving under the continuing menace of power shortage. The fossil fuels are burning fast and there is accumulation of huge carbon cover that have resulted in acid rains. It is not only on a particular day that we should create awareness instead cultivate this habit regularly to have less dependency on such recourses and thus, make this planet a healthier place to live in and preserve it for the future generations.”