Bijnor: During his recent visit to west UP districts of Amroha and Bulandshahr, chief minister Yogi Adityanath repeatedly patted his own government’s back by stating that it provided 18-hour power supply to villages. In a cluster of 50 villages in Bijnor, where power is supplied through 50-year-old overhead cables, however, the claim is blowin’ in the wind, literally.
Junior Engineer (JE) of the area, Zahid Hasan said, “We keep watch on the speed of the wind. If it becomes high, we cut power supply to these villages. Because loosely held overhead cables touch each other in the wind leading to short circuits.” These villages are located on the outskirts of the district and the cables pass through a lot of trees. As a result, villagers have to face hours-long outages almost daily.
Electricity is supposed to be supplied for 22 hours in a day to urban areas and 18 hours a day to rural areas. However, such old and dilapidated power lines are proving a significant hurdle. According to data provided by circle office of Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd (PVVNL), there over 4,500 km of weak and loose electric wires, which result in accidents causing, on an average, the death of nine people every year and disruption of power supply.
Power supply to around 50 villages depends on the velocity of the wind here. Manav Kumar, a consumer and resident of Bakarpur village said, “Bakarpur and other villages including Mandawali, Madhusudanpur, Dharuwala, Kaziwala and Chandpura are connected with Avas Vikas power house. When there are strong winds, power supply in our village is cut off by officials. The main power line passing through different villages is over 50 years old, dilapidated and loose. Besides this, trees keep falling on the power lines.”
Kumar added, “Rural areas are supposed to get 18 hours of power supply, but we get only 10 to 12 hours on an average.”
The two feeders — Kaziwala and Dharamnagari are connected with Bijnor city’s sub power station and from these, power is supplied to around 50 villages where consumers are facing lot of power cut especially at the time when the velocity of the wind increases. As summer season has set in and heat wave has also started lashing the plains, consumers of these villages are facing power cut problems. Villagers said, it will increase with the passage of time.
District president of Bhartiya Kisan Union, Digambar Singh said, “It is right that there is improvement in power supply during the current regime but the main problem is that dilapidated and hanging wires cause disruption in supply in rural areas.”
“We have prepared a proposal to change these dilapidated wires. We are changing wires but all wires can’t be replaced at the same time because of shortage of funds,” said CP Singh, superintendent engineer of PVVNL, Bijnor.
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