Power outage, truant voltage leave residents of Odisha's Sambalpur in a spot

While the district sizzles at 45 degree Celsius, frequent voltage fluctuations and erratic power outages have added to the woes of the residents of Sambalpur city.
Representative picture of a power discom | Express
Representative picture of a power discom | Express

SAMBALPUR:  While the district sizzles at 45 degree Celsius, frequent voltage fluctuations and erratic power outages have added to the woes of the residents of Sambalpur city. For more than 40 days, Deep Mukherjee, a resident of Bareipali area is distressed as low voltage situation continues to prevail. While many of her appliances have not been working properly, her refrigerator is already damaged due to the voltage problem.

Despite reaching out to the Tata Power Western Odisha Distribution Limited (TPWODL) through every possible channel, her grievances remain unheard. “I feel helpless. From toll free number to the higher officials, I have tried contacting everyone but to no avail.

Though the staff came to my house multiple times for checking, the situation continues to remain as it is. With summer at its peak, my AC has been dysfunctional for over a month now. Other appliances too, are at a risk of getting damaged. Moreover, discom staff are advising me to install stabilisers for my appliances. If the situation persists, we will have to launch protest,” she added.

Residents of Khetrajpur, Poddar Colony, Panchgochhi and parts of Budharaja have also been facing the same plight. Power outages ranging for a period of 10 minutes to several hours have made the locals’ lives miserable.

Bishwas Meher who runs a small printing unit in the locality said frequent power cuts has affected his business. “We run late in delivering our orders since power goes off frequently. We expected that a private discom would provide us better services than WESCO but the matter is only getting worse,” he added.

Another local Akash Debata said the discom staff come up with the same two answers every time there is a power failure. They either attribute it to maintenance work or excessive use of electricity. “In such a situation, a person can neither stay at home nor go out because of the sweltering heat. Those living in slums are facing an even harder time. This is nothing less than harassment,” he rued.

Head of corporate communications and government relations, TPWODL, Manoj Pattnayak denied the discom receiving any complaint about power fluctuations in the city. “Those having issues can reach out to 1912 and 18003456798 to air their grievances. Their complaints will be effectively registered and swift action taken,” he added.

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