Parts of Arunachal hit by long hours of power cut as power dept fails to come up with alternative arrangement

[ Karyir Riba, Karda Natam & Prafulla Kaman ]

ROING, 8 Aug: Several places in the Siang valley, Lower Dibang Valley district, Upper Subansiri district and parts of Lohit district have been hit hard by erratic power supply since 6 August as the power department did not make alternative arrangements to supply power in the scorching heat as it shut down the Daporijo-Aalo transmission line.

According to a circular released by the department, the grid station subdivision in Daporijo (Upper Subansiri) “attained approval to shut down the 132 kv Daporijo-Aalo transmission line for stringing of conductors in the relocated towers from the right of way on NH 13.” Therefore, areas in all the downstream districts, like Basar, Aalo, Pasighat, Roing, Namsai, Tezu, and Hayuliang, have been affected by the shutdown.

The circular mentions that “the grid power shall not be available during the day time from 7 am to 6:30 pm from 6-9 August.”

However, although the power supply is being cut right on time in the day, the restoration doesn’t happen till late at night, close to midnight.

Lower Dibang Valley (LDV) district has been left to fend for itself in this blistering heat by the power department, as the district has been dealing with more than 15 hours of zero power supply during the day for the past three days.

While its counterparts like Lohit and Namsai are receiving power supply through the Assam line, LDV has no such facility.

Officials in the power department said that the reason that the Assam line is not being provided in LDV is because of it being “extremely erratic and undependable.” As for the grid line not being restored on time, the department informed that it has no power to do so.

“As soon as the grid line is provided, we will restore it to the general public. The given time was 6:30 in the evening, but we receive it only late at night. There is nothing we can do because our calls are not entertained by them. We only receive information over WhatsApp messages. The notice said that the shutdown will continue till 9 August, so the usual power supply will be provided from 10 August onwards,” the department informed.

In all fairness, the grid line supply in LDV HQ Roing is praiseworthy. However, the disruption of continuity and the number of times (both during winter and summer) for a stretch of at least 3-4 days takes a toll on the denizens, especially when all day-to-day activities today require electricity.

Dibang Valley district, though it is not grid-line connected, brags about commendable power supply in Anini circle. Reportedly, Mipi circle faces a little issue here and there, but Etalin-Maliney and Arzoo-Aneli circles have no power supply.

Lohit, too, boasts of uninterrupted power supply in Tezu and Sunpura circles. Wakro circle sometimes faces disturbance, as per reports. The district has both grid and Assam line connections. However, reportedly, in the last two days, they have received very erratic power supply, almost accounting to zero.

In Namsai, as per sources, the power situation is in bad shape. Extremely erratic, with voltage fluctuations is how the power situation there is being described. Namsai, too, is provided with both the grid and the Assam line.

The continual power supply disruptions by the power grid are a cause of frustration for the public. Most times, the reason given for the disruption is shifting of towers or fallen towers, which makes one wonder if the towers were installed without proper spot verification

Meanwhile, irregular electricity supply amid the scorching heat and voltage fluctuation, especially during night, in many towns and colonies in Upper Subansiri district are giving a harrowing time to the residents.

As per a power department notification, electricity supply will remain shut during the day from 6-9 August “for relocation works of the 132 kv Aalo-Daporijo transmission line from the right of way of the Trans-Arunachal Highway.”

Although power supply resumed in some areas on Sunday, the people have been grappling with the problem of low voltage.

Acute power crisis has also hit Pasighat town and adjoining areas in East Siang district since 6 August due to the shifting of the Daporijo-Aalo 132 kv transmission line.

Executive Engineer Tarik Mize said that there is no alternative power source to meet the demands during the shutdown hours.

The department has managed to draw about 1.5 mw power from Assam’s Jonai subdivision through an 11 kv line. Pasighat and adjoining areas need about 8.7 mw power during the peak hours, he said.