Rural and coastal Salcete still plagued by power failures
(PHOTO Captions: Creepers growing on the electricity wires and the street lights blocking the illumination and also providing a passage to crawling reptiles like snakes to disrupt the power supply near the Our Lady of Rosary Church, Navelim. ALL PHOTOS BY GARY AZAVEDO)
BENAULIM: Despite the tall claims of the Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant BJP-led coalition government and Power Minister Nilesh Cabral of providing 24X7 power supply by improving the existing power infrastructure and commencing underground cabling, erratic power supply with frequent daily power interruptions several times in a day have become the daily bane and lament of those residing in the rural and coastal areas of Salcete taluka represented by the present BJP MLAs who switched over from Congress citing ‘lack of development’ as their reasons for doing so.
Benaulim youth and Holy Trinity Church, Benaulim choir member Konrad Rodrigues said, “Benaulim has been troubled by multiple power cuts on a regular basis and is mainly attributed to long spans of high tension overhead power cables that come in contact with each other with the slightest force of winds or falling coconut leaves of branches of trees. Many a time the fallen live wires fall in private properties and compounds posing a serious threat to the lives of children and domesticated animals. People who have installed power inverters are not troubled as much as people who don’t as they are left in the dark. With rise in inflation, job losses people have been struggling financially and to make it worse, electricity charges are being increased periodically. I wish the next government we elect have individuals who understand that electricity, water, health care, education and infrastructure are basic needs of every citizen and do something to lower the costs. Since we are already transitioning to cleaner forms of energy, the high costs of electricity shouldn’t discourage people from doing so. Our ministers will understand the financial plight of every citizen the day the free privileges that they enjoy at the cost of the tax payers are withdrawn and are forced to live like every other citizen of this country and made to pay for their daily needs.”
“Yes, there are frequent power cuts these days in Benaulim. The other day I went to the post office to pay our postal life insurance premium, I had to wait there in queue for almost one hour because it was affecting their internet connectivity. People are facing a lot of inconvenience these days, especially the students,” said Benaulim-based social activist Santan Pereira.
Colva resident and businessman Laureante Rodrigues lamented, “We face daily power failures. Despite spending so much of finances, nothing seems to be improving. It’s getting from bad to worse. Another reminder to the Electricity department to employ an individual to put off the street lights which are burning during the whole day since it is a waste of energy which is a precious resource. By employing an individual, our taxpayer’s money can be used in the right manner and thus, save a lot of money for the department.”
Former Sarzora village panchayat sarpanch and present panchayat member Sabita Mascarenhas remarked, “Actually there are lot of power cuts and children are facing a lot of problems due to online classes. Even if a full day shutdown is taken for maintenance work or if it rains slightly, there is a power cut. I really don’t understand for what maintenance, this shutdown is taken as there is no power supply even if it is a slight drizzle.”
Dandeavaddo-Chinchinim resident Walter Gomes remarked, “There are frequent power failures in my ward of Dandeavaddo-Chinchinim and every time we need to call up the department to attend to the calls. I have spoken to our ward member and also spoken to the assistant engineer and given him suggestions how to solve the issues permanently but till date, nothing has been solved.”
“I reside in Sarzora where the power supply is far better as compared to Dandeavaddo-Chinchinim where my aged mother lives as every time we go to the Chinchinim bazaar, there’s the common refrain of ‘no power supply’ so what is the problem? Are our politicians not taking any interest in improving the present situation or have they taken their voters for granted? Since this has become a constant daily situation as every time we go to the Chinchinim bazaar, there is no power supply,” said Sarzora resident Felix Santan Gracias.
So will the Goenkars ever get the much promised uninterrupted 24X7 power supply or will it be just an election promise to attract voters in an election year but never to be fulfilled similar to the various assurances made in the annual Budget and during election campaigning???