It is reported that there was a fire at the sub-station on May 11 and power cuts have become unavoidable after that.
However, villagers complain that ever since the new sub-station was set up, the power supply has been erratic and for the past 10 days, shutdowns last for 12 to 15 hours almost every day. While this inconveniences residents of more than 100 villages, it has also affected water supply to these villages under integrated drinking water supply scheme of Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board.
“Nearly 30 village panchayats were benefitting from the scheme. But without power, officials were unable to supply water,” said Ramu, a resident of one of the villages.
Similarly, 50 villages such as Minjur, Nalur and Nandambakkam receiving power from Melur sub-station also suffer frequent power cuts.
“Phone calls to executive engineer’s office go unanswered and nobody is present in the office even if we go in person as they mostly stay out claiming to be in involved in maintenance work. We have been having sleepless nights for more than a week due to power cuts,” said Ramu.
Also, 1,500 acres of agriculture land do not get sufficient water because of the power cuts, said Munirathnam, head of local farmers’ association. Recently, farmers and residents staged a road roko in front of the Ponneri executive engineer’s office and on information Divisional Engineer Chandrasekar reached the spot and held talks with them.
Villagers complained that Tangedco staff do not maintain the newly setup sub-station and that is leading to the frequent power cuts in the locality.
After several complaints, the divisional engineer started an inquiry. It is reported that there was a fire at the sub-station on May 11 and power cuts have become unavoidable after that. On assurance that the problem will be solved at the earliest, the protesters dispersed with a warning that they would hold the protest again in larger scale if the power cuts did not stop soon.