Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The two sides of power cut

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Almost every speech of an aspiring politician in India mentions the promise of electricity supply service, accentuating the erratic power supply problem in our country. The cuts however are mostly for an hour each day and habitually people don't complain for such limited power outages. Last week, the little devil however turned into a hideous monster, showing its extreme nature.

The week saw two power outages back-to-back  that blacked out almost half of the nation and even made it to the front page of  UK and US leading daily .Normal life slipped out of gear as people were stranded at railway stations, metro platforms; the roads got clogged with traffic and states came to a standstill. Several water treatment plants were shut down. Technically speaking, the entire Northern grid had collapsed due to one or more states drawing more power than they were entitled to, on July 30 and 31. Naturally, this is an excuse of a lax power department. There are load dispatch centers (LDCs) which are supposed to look after evading exactly this situation. When the power demand exceeds supply, the power is usually cut-off for a limited period  For this, circuit-breakers are used which cut-off the supply, which obviously didn't happen on  two consecutive days. This is sheer carelessness on part of the people responsible for overseeing this process. The blame-game will start as Shinde saab sits for long meetings for digging in the problem. The deficit naturally can't be fixed up with a magic wand but surely we need a fail-safe circuit-breaker system that checks overloading and takes measures. Perhaps more power plants need approvals to bring down the deficit ! No doubt, politics and technology both share the bib of culprit.

At the very rudimentary level, we Indians are extravagantly consuming electricity in summers with unfettered usage of Air conditioners and other high power-drawing appliances. In a power-deficient country, this deep-rooted habit hits us back in summers.

On the lighter side of power cut, the 10-hour power cut gives families usually engrossed in facebooking and televisions to sit together and spend some precious time together, away from the virtual world. Children on these days go out to play real football instead of eye-gluing FIFA . Ah !The hard-working laptop also gets some time off. On second thoughts, power cuts aren't unbearable if we think of how the poor section of our country have grown used to such misery and how the Indian farmer thinks of nothing besides work when he toils away on a sweltering day.

And when the indispensable thing which we have grown used to, parts away even for a day, we come to know its importance Perhaps, the Government is not having the right people in the power sector. Perhaps, our  plants are inefficient and few. Perhaps, the technology is outdated .Perhaps, all of us are responsible in our own little ways. Whatever be the case, this issue will be subdued until the next big outage.

And you, while reading this article must have forgot plugging off your charger even when your battery was fully charged long before! ;)

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