Home > News > Report
North India battles heat wave
Onkar Singh in New Delhi |
May 09, 2006 02:12 IST
As the mercury continues to soar the power situation in the Northern states of India has gone from bad to worse. Long hours of power cuts have been forcing the people to take to the streets in Uttar Pradesh particularly in the western part of the state.
This is despite the assurance given by Sushil Kumar Shinde, Union minister of power, that power situation would improve in next few days. Noida and Gaziabad on Delhi borders have been the worst hit with long power cuts. " Our inverters don't work any more. We are lucky if they work for one or two hours," said a scribe working for a leading national daily who resides in Gaziabad.
Offices of newspapers, television organisations had to depend upon the back up power system to keep their computers and transmission studios and editing machines running to keep the show going.
Though major markets remained open hoping to do some business, there were a handful of customers wanting to do purchases. "I want to stay indoors. To hell with shopping. I would rather sleep than venture out in scorching summer and catch a heat stroke," Manorama Verma, a school teacher, told rediff.com.
The story is no different in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan which are also reeling under oppressive heat. "The temperatures have shot up in Rajasthan in the last one week. But it is the same story every year. Jaipur has already touched 45 degrees while places like Sriganganagar, Churu, Jaiselmer and Jodhpur have registered more then 47 degrees," said D K Jain, who has a cloth business in the pink city.
According to Sushil Kumar Shinde the northern states have a shortfall of 3000 megawatts of power and majority of this is consumed by Delhi alone. "There is a peak load shortage of 12 per cent," according to the statistics rattled out by Shide to newsmen.
"We have a shortfall of 3,000 megawatts of power in the northern states which need 30,000 megawatts of power," Shide told newsmen in Sunday in Bangalore during interaction with the media persons. He targetted Uttar Pradesh ruled by Mulayam Singh Yadav and issued a stern warning to the state administration not to overdraw power from the Northern grid which forced major power cuts in the capital.
But the people living in the Northern states are not bothered about warnings of Shinde. "This is the time when we need water for our field but we do not know when the power would come to run our tubewell," said one Tarsem Singh who owns agricultural land around Chandigarh-joint capital of Punjab and Haryana. Industrial areas like Mohali, Ludhiana have also been experiencing power cuts but "mercifully they are not as dreadful as they were few years back," said a businessmen in Ludhiana.
Delhiites blame the Delhi metro railway for consuming power, which would have otherwise provided comfort to several localities in the capital. This was promptly denied by Anuj Dayal, spokesman for Delhi Metro Corporation.
"We use 45 megawatts of electricity for running trains and railway stations. This means we are using only 1.5 per cent of the total needs of Delhi," he said. Delhi Metro on the contrary claimed that it was saving 25-30 of electricity.
"IGBT (very high quality) based variable voltage and variable frequency drives for our trains helps in reducing power consumption during starting and stopping of trains. Regenerating braking in trains saves 25% to 30% of energy consumption which is being used to meet the auxiliary power requirement of the train.
Lighter Coaches of Metro ensure less energy consumption. Stations are designed on hump to ensure faster acceleration after start and faster deceleration while stopping. Air conditioning system of the station is optimally designed," Dayal said.
While some have the luxury of staying indoors in the cool enviornments with air conditioners and coolers to beat the heat, others have to go outside to earn their daily earnings. Labourers shift their kids under the shade of trees. Boat Club near India gate is frequented by kids living in the houses nearby who often strip to their undergarments and sometimes even without them to take a dip in the water to cool their bodies.
Kids of the affluent class who step out with their parents prefer to take a gola (ice-candy), ice-creams and visiting restaurants with cooler enviornments. To prevent the kids from the heat the Delhi government has closed the schools by announcing early summer breaks.