In the midst of the ongoing battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, different localities in Ukhrul town are being forced to contend with what is termed as ‘overload-triggered power outage’ since the past few months.
An official source from Manipur State Power Distribution Corporation Limited (MSPDCL) Ukhrul Division conceded that majority of localities in the township are experiencing increased incidences of power outage as a result of unprecedented power overload which has frequently put strain on the power supply system.
The source on Sunday termed the situation as ‘something unprecedented’, while stating that overloading of distribution line has been causing frequent disruption of power supply across many localities in the town.
The overload was also responsible for damages caused to transformers in such localities in the past few months.
“The power overload has affected parts of the main town areas like Wino bazaar, Phungreitang, Hamleikhong and others, while peripheral localities like Khaivarentang, Awontang and others are facing electricity outages due to transformer breakdown triggered by overloading of the system. Several other localities and government offices have just restored their power supply months after their transformers conked out”, it said.
Explaining about the overload situation, the source observed the power consumption in the town has increased almost two-fold during the Covid-19 pandemic. “One major factor in the overload situation has been the use of electrical home appliances like rice cookers, induction heaters and others by many households in different localities,” it disclosed.
During this Covid pandemic, thousands of returnees came back with their mobile handsets and other electrical appliances. “This has also contributed to rapid increase in daily power consumption in the town,” it noted, while adding that another major factor has been the rapid rise in the number of households rearing chickens and illegal tapping of power lines by many such households.
It said that many such households are using filament-based incandescent bulbs putting additional load on the already laden supply system. It is learnt that currently two 11 KV lines from Greenland sub-station are feeding local transformers of different localities in the town; one covering the entire localities of Hunphun village and the other throughout the main town areas and Hungpung village.
According to the source, the department has detected many cases related to illegal tapping and has cut off their connections in the last few months. “We are keeping a close watch on such illegal practice and we appeal to the different local authorities to discourage power theft and use of incandescent bulbs in their respective localities,” it said, adding that using LED (light-emitting diode) lighting instead of filament-based bulbs could also help in easing the overload in the power circuit.