Black­out crip­ples tric­ity

Res­i­dents go with­out power for seven hours af­ter North­ern Grid fail­ure; wa­ter sup­ply, health ser­vices hit, rail pas­sen­gers stranded

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Live Cor­re­spon­dent chdlivedesk@hin­dus­tan­

CHANDI­GARH/PANCHKULA/SAS NA­GAR: The North­ern Grid fail­ure past mid­night on Mon­day plunged the tric­ity into dark­ness with elec­tric­ity sup­ply re­main­ing dis­rupted for around seven hours. In the ab­sence of power sup­ply, es­sen­tial ser­vices like health­care, wa­ter sup­ply and trans­port were se­verely hit.

At around 2.30 am, power sup­ply was dis­rupted in the en­tire tric­ity. Ini­tially, peo­ple thought it was a rou­tine power cut or tech­ni­cal snag. It was only in the morn­ing that they came to know that the North­ern Elec­tric­ity Trans­mis­sion Grid had col­lapsed, lead­ing to power fail­ure in the en­tire re­gion.

Wa­ter sup­ply ser­vices were se­verely hit in Chandi­garh with the mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion fail­ing to deal with the emer­gency sit­u­a­tion in the ab­sence of a gen­er­a­tor set to pump in wa­ter. Af­ter re­ceiv­ing com­plaints of wa­ter short­age, the pub­lic health depart­ment hired a gen­er­a­tor on rent. City res­i­dents com­plained that the staff mem­bers at the MC com­plaint cen­tre did not take their com­plaints se­ri­ously and ex­pressed their help­less­ness in rec­ti­fy­ing the sit­u­a­tion, cit­ing the power break­down. Later, the MC pub­lic health depart­ment sent wa­ter tankers to var­i­ous places in the city, in­clud­ing Ram­dar­bar Phase 2, Sec­tor 29-C, Sec­tor 7, San­jay Colony, Deep Com­plex, Colony Num­ber 4 and south­ern sec­tors.

Wa­ter sup­ply also re­mained dis­rupted in SAS Na­gar and Panchkula, though the au­thor­i­ties tried to sup­ply wa­ter through gen­er­a­tors. How­ever, there were com­plaints of low pres­sure from var­i­ous ar­eas.

“Wa­ter sup­ply to some ar­eas was af­fected. Though the mo­tors at the Kajauli wa­ter­works were not in work­ing con­di­tion, we still sup­plied wa­ter to the town with the help of gen­er­a­tors. We com­pen­sated the res­i­dents with af­ter­noon wa­ter sup­ply,” said an of­fi­cial of the wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion depart­ment, SAS Na­gar.

Talk­ing to HT, Neeru Sharma, a res­i­dent of Sec­tor 12, Panchkula, said, “It was a chaotic morn­ing as even at night we could not sleep prop­erly due to the power fail­ure. Be­sides, there was no one to at­tend to calls at the elec­tric­ity com­plaint num­ber at night. It was only in the morn­ing that we got to know that the power had failed in the en­tire city. Both my chil­dren had to miss school as they could not sleep prop­erly. To add to our woes, there was no wa­ter sup­ply in the morn­ing.”

Talk­ing to HT, Devwrat Sharma, chief com­mu­ni­ca­tion of­fi­cer, UHBVN, said, “It was a sys­tem fail­ure and noth­ing could have been done in such a sit­u­a­tion. We got to know about it at night it­self and since our hands were tied, noth­ing could be done ex­cept wait­ing for the fault to be rec­ti­fied.”

"As per the guide­lines of the cen­tral elec­tric­ity reg­u­la­tory com­mis­sion, we have to shut down power sup­ply im­me­di­ately af­ter get­ting direc­tions from the North­ern Re­gional Load Dis­patch Cen­tre (NRLDC). At around 2.30 am, we got a mes­sage from the NRLDC to shut down the power sup­ply im­me­di­ately, and we acted ac­cord­ingly," said MP Singh, su­per­in­ten­dent en­gi­neer, elec­tric­ity depart­ment, Chandi­garh. HEALTH SER­VICES HIT

Health­care ser­vices were par­tic­u­larly hit in the tric­ity. No MRIs, X-rays and CT scans could be con­ducted at the PGI till the power sup­ply was re­stored late in the morn­ing. Be­sides, rou­tine op­er­a­tions could not be con­ducted on time and work at OPD reg­is­tra­tion coun­ters was de­layed. Di­ag­nos­tic and sur­gi­cal ser­vices were also in­ter­rupted in other hos­pi­tals of the city, in­clud­ing Gov­ern­ment Mul­ti­Spe­ciality Hospi­tal, Sec­tor 16.

The sit­u­a­tion in Panchkula and SAS Na­gar hos­pi­tals was not any dif­fer­ent. At the SAS Na­gar civil hospi­tal in Phase 6, at­ten­dants and pa­tients had a har­row­ing time as the hospi­tal au­thor­i­ties took about two hours to re­store power to the emer­gency ward. “Af­ter my rel­a­tive com­plained of pain in the leg, we took him to the civil hospi­tal. But due to the power fail­ure and lack of fol­low-up, we had to take him to a pri­vate hospi­tal for ad­min­is­ter­ing a painkiller in­jec­tion,” said Jeet Singh. Out of the eight surg­eries planned, two were post­poned.


Com­muters stuck in a traf­fic jam at the Sec­tor-17 ISBT round­about in Chandi­garh on Mon­day morn­ing af­ter the power break­down.

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