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BJP will lose votes if power cuts continue

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BJP will lose votes if power cuts continue

Bosky Khanna
Wednesday, July 1, 2009 9:47 IST
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Rampant power cuts in the city have not only been creating problems for households, it has hit the commercial and industrial sectors too, adversely affecting their business. Experts say that it is not just the responsibility of government officials, but citizens as well to conserve power. Sajjan Raj Mehta, president, Karnataka Hosiery and Garments Association spoke to Bosky Khanna, warning that the government might lose out on votes in the forthcoming corporation election, if they don't act quickly.

Is the power scenario in the state at its worst?
The power scenario was equally bad before the parliamentary polls, but at that time the state had purchased power from other states. Now, the power minister says he is unable to do so as the other states are not co-operating. Furthermore, the state is unable to generate adequate power due to water shortage. Now, BESCOM is trying to promote alternate means.

What are the alternatives available for us as well as the government?
People must be motivated to use 60% of power supplied; like, if a store uses 100 tubelights, it should now try to make do with only 60. CFLs are a good alternative. In fact, BESCOM had suggested this to malls around four months back, but the policies are yet to be strictly implemented. Solar lights and heaters can be ideal options. Also, the government must look to generate more power to meet the growing demand.

Why did the situation worsen and who is the most affected?
Commercial and industrial sectors have been badly hit. Though production may not be affected, owners are sure losing out as sometimes workers are forced to remain idle for hours due to power failure. But owners need to pay them despite the temporary shut down. In places like Chickpet, where there are around ten shops in a floor, even if one of them uses a generator, all neighbouring shops are exposed to noise and air pollution. Also, customers cannot be attended to properly in the dark.

What could be the root cause for this problem in market areas?
The power situation is so bad now that even people from villages visiting the city say they have a better power situation there. The problem lies in the fact that several shops are closely packed on narrow corridors, which have very less sunlight penetration. This forces them to use lights even during the day, unlike in villages where the markets are more ventilated and therefore, cuts down on demand for power. People here are forced to spend anywhere between Rs200- Rs2,500 on alternate lighting.

What should the government do now?
It is about time the government acts fast and introduces scheduled loadshedding as it will impact the upcoming corporation elections and the ruling BJP party might just lose out on its votes.

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