Battling power cuts in Coimbatore

R. Y. Narayanan Coimbatore | Updated on December 20, 2012

Traffic signals are largely in disuse owing to prolonged power cuts and the police have fallen back on hand signaling across the city. Photo: S. Siva Saravanan

If an apple a day is what will keep the doctor away, a VVIP visit a day will keep the power cuts away! At least that is what the people of Coimbatore seem to believe.

After two days of a ‘powercut holiday’ coinciding with the visit of President of India to honour two Air Force Squadrons at Sulur Air Force Station near here, the city’s denizens here are back to battling power cuts that start before sun rise and extends well into the night.

The losses suffered by different industries located in this part of the state are well documented. But what has not been adequately captured is the pain of everyday living in a power-starved city. Even everyday commute can get quite chaotic as it does when the traffic signals go on the blink and the traffic cops take a well-deserved break.

Today, for instance, in areas such as Peelamedu, the power cut began at 5 a.m. and lasted for an hour. Power again went off at 7 a.m. and did not return for about two hours and 15 minutes. It again snapped at 10 a.m. and resumed only at 1 p.m.

Life is particularly harrowing for those households with school- or college-going children: Arranging warm water for bathing (particularly during this cold Margazhi), ironing the children’s clothes or even charging a mobile phone becomes an uphill task. There are reports that children are already feeling the impact of sleep-deprivation. 


For Net aficionados, particularly for those who use the Internet extensively for conducting their professional and personal lives, the power cuts can be nerve-wracking. Especially so, if one is just about to transfer funds or execute an order and the power goes kaput.

The power cuts seem to have brought a city which was sprinting earlier in terms of both economic activity and a sprightly private life to a crawl. Says Jayakumar Ramdass, Managing Director, Mahendra Sumersible Pumps, who is also a fitness enthusiast: “Because of the power cuts, elderly male walkers flocking to Race Course in the mornings now prefer to do it closer to their homes. Some of the women walkers, who come late in the evenings for their walking in Race Course, have dropped out fearing for safety.”

Published on December 20, 2012

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