Frequent Power Cuts, Busy Helplines Leave Bhubaneswar Residents In Lurch

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Bhubaneswar: The people of Odisha are reeling under the growing demand for electricity, and reliable supply still remains a pipe dream after Tata Power took over the management of power distribution in the state.

Scores of electricity consumers from across the state are bearing the brunt of Tata Power’s monopoly.

Bhubaneswar, which is often praised as one of the top-most Smart Cities in the country, has been struggling to provide its residents with the basic amenity of an uninterrupted supply of electricity.

Several places of the state capital have been reeling under hours-long power cuts for the last two days- with the southern sectors suffering the most.

On Tuesday, several places of the capital city faced continuous power supply disruption. The power cut continued for 3-4 hours in major places like–BJB Nagar, Kalpana, and Museum area leaving the residents in distress.

When locals were asked about the issue, they said that even after dialing the electric department helpline several times, the officials hardly care to pick up the repeated phone calls. Even if they receive some calls, no one provides any satisfactory answers on the reason for the power cut.

The department also did not mind communicating about scheduled power cuts beforehand through announcements. Regular ups and downs in electricity supply are making an impact on our inverters, refrigerators, and other electrical equipment, locals alleged.

All these irregularities point the finger towards the poor management of Tata Power.

The Odisha government has handed over the management and operations of power supply in the state to Tata Power.

TP Central Odisha Distribution Limited (TPCODL) is a joint venture between Tata Power and the Government of Odisha with the majority stake being held by Tata Power Company (51%). TPCODL now distributes electricity in the entire state of Odisha with a total customer base of 9 million.

Some people also alleged that they are getting huge amounts of electricity bills after Tata Power took charge of supplying power in the state. When CESU was in charge, those consumers who received around Rs 500-600 per month, now they claim to be receiving bill of Rs 1800-2100 per month, which is way too high.

While COVID situation has been preventing mass protest by the public against the step-motherly attitude of the Tata Power, it would reflect through the votes in the ensuing Panchayat and Municipal elections. Public dissatisfaction is slowly taking the form of widespread agitation.

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