Angry protests in Middle Andaman over unrelenting power blackouts

Report by: 
V SENTHIL KUMAR
RANGAT
21 May 2017

Angry protests broke out in the Middle Andaman region over unrelenting and prolonged blackouts on Sunday. Hundreds of residents marched from the Rangat Bay area near Nimbutala to the office of the Executive Engineer (Electricity) of Rangat shouting slogans against the department for failing miserably to address the situation over the past few months and demanded immediate steps for supply of power 24x7 in the Middle Andaman region.
According to reports, prolonged and unannounced power-cuts have hit a large swathe in the Middle Andaman region. Owing to shortfall in generation capacity, the Power Department has been exercising six to eight hours of daily blackouts on a daily basis for the past few months. Consumers in the region alleged that the department has failed to settle old payments in respect of DG sets procured from private agencies as a result of which the Power Department is facing hurdles in purchase of new DG sets to meet the present day demand.
“Relentless and unannounced power-cuts for the past several weeks has thrown normal life out of gear here and we clearly can't take it anymore. Despite tall claims of  improvement in the power supply, the situation has worsened much to everybody's shock and concern. Inexorable and unannounced power cuts in different parts of Middle Andaman have become the order of the day now. Consumers are bearing more than 6 hours of daily power-cut doses including night hours. Life has become miserable for the residents here mainly children and elderly citizens, who have sleepless nights due to the dismal state of power supply in Middle Andaman. Power outrages are also taking a toll on the commercial establishments and agricultural activities here. Consumers here are in no mood to tolerate the apathy of the Power Department anymore and are demanding immediate restoration of normal power supply, failing which, the intensity of such protests will increase in the days to come,” said some agitators speaking to this Correspondent.
The Executive Engineer (Electricity), Mr NC Baroi, assured normal power supply in the region by the next 48 hours. “Presently, two out of the three DG Sets installed at Rangat Power House are under repairs. The entire region is presently being provided supply from only one DG set because of which we are forced to exercise blackouts. An engineer has already been deployed for rectification of the snag in the DG sets and consumers can expect respite from power pangs in the next two days,” assured Mr Baroi.