Outages worsen after storm, DLF 3 residents hit streets in protest

GURUGRAM: Angry residents of blocked the road along metro station and brought traffic to a halt for about 30 minutes at around 12.30pm on Sunday, claiming they were unable to sleep for the past three days because of power outages in the stifling summer heat.
Matters came to a head on Saturday evening, when the storm triggered prolonged power cuts across town in the wake of the storm and rains.

Residents said the power crisis has intensified over the last couple of days, what with recurrent fluctuations and outages by every nightfall, to the point supply has been lasting barely for a few hours.

Over 70 DLF residents who took part in the demonstration, said “they had had enough” and gathered at the community centre in DLF 3. “We gathered at the community centre at around 12.30pm,” said Pooja. “Last week too, after there was an outage, power was restored after we demonstrated. So we decided to do something similar.” Pooja said the (DHBVN) and the builder (DLF) understood “no other language”. “Since yesterday, when the began as soon as the storm started, we’ve been trying to reach DHBVN, but to no avail. When we reached the community centre there was no one to redress our grievances. In anger, we blocked the road under Moulsari Avenue metro station. In a few minutes, cops arrived, and the discom started calling back,” she said.

Residents said lights first went out in the evening, and continued through the night. “I’ve been awake the whole night,” Nishant, another resident said. Discom officials told TOI an 11kV feeder near G-15, DLF 3, had developed leakage. “It had come in with moisture because of the rains, so the line tripped,” said Majid Hussain, junior engineer, DHBVN. Officials also reported of damage to the 66kV sub-station in Block Q, Sikandarpur. They added DLF 3’s problems are exacerbated by “overdrawing of power. “Against the 6kW of connected load, each household draws four times on average.”

In South City, Sector 40, residents submitted a complaint with their sub-divisional officer that their home appliances were getting damaged due to voltage fluctuations. “Over the past two months, our ACs and refrigerators were damaged because of sudden high voltage spurts. Again, during nights, gadgets stopped working as voltage dropped suddenly,” the letter reads. In Sushant Lok, the crisis was even worse. “I run two WhatsApp groups. In the past 12 hours, I’ve received 400 complaints,” said Neelu Sharma, a resident.

Recently, DHBVN had blamed 16 developers for the power mess, alleging they haven’t built adequate infrastructure for clean, 24-hour supply. But that wasn’t enough to satisfy residents. “What are we supposed to do then?” Sharma asked. “We pay our bills regularly. Why are we being held hostage to a dispute between discom and developer?”

Across Gurugram, residents complained they were facing disastrous power cuts in the aftermath of Saturday’s storm.

Officials of transmission company HVPNL said the 66kV line that tripped supplied power to Farrukhnagar. “It was fixed in 3-4 hours,” said a senior HVPNL official. “One transformer also tripped in Daultabad. No other major incident was reported.”

In time-honoured tradition, HVPNL officials also passed the blame to DHBVN, alleging the discom often asked them to restore supply without necessary clearance. “They often ask us to start supply while their own 11kV feeder lines are not fixed. When we comply, our equipment trips, and then it takes us longer to fix.”

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