BENGALURU: The erratic load-shedding in the city has now started to haunt the dead too. According to Nagraj, manager of Harishchandra Ghat in Srirampuram, grieving families have to wait in long queues for hours at electric crematoriums to perform the last rites of a dear one.
The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) announced a four-hour load-shedding on Tuesday. But in reality, it is at least six hours.
“Power outages interrupt the working of the electric incinerators. We have diesel generator sets. But operating the oven on backup power for long results in the generators getting heated up. Hence, we have to leave them for some time to cool off. At the current rate of load-shedding, operating the electric ovens has become an uphill task,” he said.
The situation is no different at Shanti Dhama crematorium in Banashankari and the one located near Beggars Colony on Magadi Road.
On an average, all these crematoriums receive about 10-12 bodies every day. Each body takes approximately one hour to get incinerated.
Dhanalakshmi, who came to perform the last rites of her relative at the Chamarajpet crematorium said, “My family members had to wait for four hours for their turn ... also most people visiting the crematorium have to carry their own supply of water to perform the last rites as there is shortage of water due to load-shedding.”
Residents Depend on Gensets
Residential areas are facing severe problems due to unscheduled load-shedding. Most of the apartments in Bengaluru that have alternative power backup like diesel generator sets, maintain a log book of the duration during which their generators are switched on.
Pramod Kumar, an Indiranagar resident said, “There is power cut for more than five hours on a daily basis and when I try to call the BESCOM helpline number (1912), it is always busy.”
A look at the log books of apartments from different parts of the city like HSR Layout, Kormangala, Hebbal and Kengeri shows that BESCOM’s announcement of four-hour power cut is a farce as, on an average, most of the apartments are operating their generators for more than six hours.
Mukund Rao, member of a residents welfare association in Jayanagar said,
“Erratic power cuts are proving difficult for office-goers and are affecting the elderly too.”