Power trips in the B-ward have become somewhat of a Ramzan special ritual. Like last year, this year too power continued to be erratic in the morning in areas like Dongri, Pydhonie causing a lot of inconvenience to the residents who are following the Ramzan fast. The power play happens exactly when Municipal Corporation Of Greater Mumbai supplies water to the ward in the morning that is between 5 and 7 am.
In areas like Dongri, Mohammed Ali Road and Bhindi Bazar, the BMC supplies water between 5 and 7 am. Pic for representation
Residents of these Muslim-dominated neighbourhoods fill up their water tanks and buckets with the water that gets supplied in the evening hours for 45 minutes. The daily rituals like bathing and cooking are done with that water itself after which the locals get ready for Sehri and namaaz. Local corporators have taken up this matter with BEST, the power supplier in the area, in the past as well but to no avail.
Residents of the entire B ward undertook a morcha, after which BEST installed new cables to ensure no tripping takes place. However, only some areas have got its benefit, while others continue to suffer. "There is no power supply for at least 30 minutes every morning. The first few days of the month were especially bad. There is a lot of problem in the Minar Masjid area," said Akram Khan, a resident.
Like Akram, there are many who continue to suffer and blame the BEST for giving permission to rampant building construction without ensuring the installation of necessary substations. According to rules, buildings of a certain height have to build a power substation to keep the supply regulated. Residents claim that the substations
are never constructed, which adds to the load of the area.
"In the month of Ramzan, people try running their motors around the same time. This leads to over consumption and thus outage," said local resident Vinod Divecha. A resident of Zakaria street, Anees Shaikh said that this overload had even led to short circuits in this area, which has eased out post the morcha.
Javed Juneja, a Congress corporator of the ward that has a population of 2.5 L, said, "The BEST has allowed high-rises in this area in the name of development and redevelopment. But these buildings do not have the necessary substations. This means the load of the additional population falls on the existing power supply. I have written multiple letters to BEST and there have been multiple meetings with stakeholders but without fruit."
Jagdish Patil, general manager of BEST admitted that the area suffers from power issues. "Due to overload, the power trips leading to such outages. The only solution is to construct more substations but we are not getting land for it. Meanwhile, I will ask my officials to look into these complaints and see what can be done," said Patil.