Heat Wave: UP CM Adityanath asks officials to ensure no power cuts; here’s what the rural residents say
In wake of the heatwave conditions prevailing in the state, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has instructed the authorities to ensure that there were no unnecessary power cuts in the state. But what is the situation in the rural areas of UP, how long are the daily power outages? Gaon Connection spoke with villagers and many complained of daily power cuts of 7-8 hours.
गाँव कनेक्शन 20 Jun 2023 4:24 PM GMT
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath yesterday, on June 19, ordered the officials to ensure that there were no unnecessary power cuts in the state.
“In the prevailing heatwave, there should not be any unnecessary power cuts in the villages and cities. If needed, there should be provision to purchase more electricity,” Adityanath was quoted.
Adityanath also mentioned that there should be a provision to purchase more electricity for the state government if needed. All this was in response to the state reeling under heatwave conditions; and a number of deaths and hospitalisations that have been reported in the state in the past couple of days. Ballia district has been in the news for the highest death toll where an official investigation is underway to ascertain the reason behind the deaths.
The chief minister went on to add: “There should be no shortage of drinking water and arrangements should be made for drinking water in all municipal bodies and rural areas besides the markets and on the main roads.”
To take stock of the ground situation in rural parts of the state, Gaon Connection talked to villagers in different districts about the power supply situation in their village and here is what they had to say about the power cuts:
Rahul Singh from Barabanki’s Belhara block told Gaon Connection that the daily power cuts were for as long as eight hours.
“At a time when the temperatures have been soaring, the power is available only for 16-17 hours in my tehsil. The timing of the power cut is also very weird! They cut power at 7 AM in the morning and the power is back only around 4 PM. Also, sometimes they also cut the power at night which makes it hard to sleep,” Singh added.
Lalita Singh from Belhara said that there is a power outage from 7 AM till 4 PM. “During the power cut, menfolk sit outside under the shade of the tree, but we women have to remain inside our hot and stuffy homes.”
In Hafizabad village of Sinkanderpur Sarosi block of Unnao, Sajeevan Vimal said that the electricity supply was better for the past two to three days, prior to which there used to be power outages for even two days continuously at times, she complained.
“Even at times when electricity is available, low voltage is a huge problem. For the past two-three days, power has been supplied between 4 PM and 6 PM, and then later at night. The afternoons are spent in sweltering heat,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rajni Tripathi of the same village said she did not trust the electricity supply and finished all chores during the day time only. When Gaon Connection met her at 6 PM in the evening, the power supply had been out since 4 PM and she was busy making rotis for her family’s dinner.
“Making rotis in a chulha [mud stove] is the most difficult thing in this heat,” she told Gaon Connection.
Meanwhile, Rekha Tharu in Umedkheda, Bichiya block, Unnao sat with a hand fan outside her hut. She said her phone had been switched off since yesterday night as there had been no power supply for over six hours now. Rekha's face had red rashes, which she blamed in the heat and power outage.
Nirmala Devi, a mother of two from Subbakheda village, told Gaon Connection that the heat was so oppressive that she spent the day in a nearby mango orchard with her kids as there was no electricity back home.
“The power outages have never been this long and frequent. This year it’s too much! The power is so low that even the fans don’t provide any comfort,” she said. “We have an inverter to provide power backup at home. But the inverter is unable to get recharged,” the 48-year-old added.
Also, Anuj Yadav, a 34-year-old resident of Taura village, told Gaon Connection that the hand fan was the only respite from the heat as the ceiling fans barely provided comfort.
“I lost my job during COVID-19 pandemic and now work as a farmer to support my family. I just await the rains and hope this summer season will end soon,” he said.
Meanwhile, Vivek Kumar, superintendent engineer in the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited [UPPCL] told Gaon Connection that due to electrical faults at the local level, power outages are happening.
“The electricity is being supplied as per the demand but the local faults in the supply lines are causing power failure but we are providing power for 16 hours to 18 hours,” he said.
Vijay Kumar, a 35-year-old resident of Seemavarti village in Sitapur told Gaon Connection that the electricity is only available for four hours during the day and another four hours at night.
“We have to sleep on the terrace at night where the mosquitoes just don’t let us sleep in peace but it’s impossible to sleep downstairs in the rooms. The power cuts are so frequent and long that we cannot even recharge our phones. Even when the power is there, the voltage is so low that the fan barely provides any respite,” complained Kumar.
Dhanushdhari Pandey, a resident of Niyamatpur village in Gonda district said that the logic of cutting of power in the afternoon is hard for her to understand.
“Why do they do it in the afternoon when the heat is at its peak? We receive power for only 16 hours a day,” she said.
Ranjeet Singh, a resident of Hafizuddin block’s Harigaon village in Hardoi district said that children and the elderly face the worst brunt of the heat in the afternoon when the power is cut.
“These two groups of people can’t even go out to do anything as it’s too hot outside. They have to sit back at home and suffer. It’s not good to see their suffering. The children wail and the old people just go too silent, Singh said.
Written by Pratyaksh Srivastava, with inputs from Aishwarya Tripathi (Unnao), Sumit Yadav (Unnao), Virendra Singh (Barabanki and Sitaput), and Ramji Mishra (Sitapur).