CHENNAI: Residents of many suburbs in Chennai, including Madipakkam and Selaiyur, are experiencing increased voltage fluctuation. As if the sweltering summer heat is not enough, the voltage fluctuation heightens people’s discomfort with the fans often running at ‘super slow’ speeds. Says Hariharan, a resident of New Kubera Nagar 4th Street in Madipakkam, “The situation is pretty bad at night. Fans do not run and the energy efficient CFL bulbs give a dim light.” Due to severe fluctuation, the power supply cable of a table fan melted and caused a trip, he added. Several other residents said the electricity board authorities had not replaced what they called “worn out” power transmission overhead cables in their neighbourhood.
“You can see the cables swaying and coming together in a strong wind. It causes friction and sparks,” another resident said.
The residents of Madipakkam said the problem had not been fully addressed even though after repeated representations the authorities had carried out some repair work.
“No one can predict when the power fluctuation will happen. After 7 pm the situation is really bad,” said M K Parthasarathy, general secretary, IOB Colony Residents Welfare Association in Selaiyur. Pointing out that he used an air conditioner, Parthasarathy said even energy efficient appliances had become tough to use.
Shivani M of Kamatchi Nagar in Mugalivakkam said using an air conditioner had become an exasperating experience. “The air conditioner trips every five minutes. It has become practically impossible to use it. The very purpose of buying an air conditioner to beat the heat is defeated.”
Priya B, residing on New Beach Road, Tiruvanmiyur, and T Praveen of Venkatesa Nagar Extension area in Saligramam, echoed Shivani’s opinion. They said that they had given up using air conditioners fearing the damage to them due to the fall and surge in power.
A senior TANGEDCO official said a phenomenal increase in the number of air conditioners each year compounds the problem of voltage fluctuation. “We are taking suitable measures to address this issue,” he said.
S Gandhi, president, Power Engineers Society of Tamil Nadu (PESOT), pointed out that “no electrical equipment will work to its full capacity if the voltage dips”, and urged the electricity authorities to correct the problem.