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Another jolt to Panaji, Taleigao residents, power trips for 3 hours

Panaji: Even before the citizens of Panaji and Taleigao had come out of the nightmarish experience of being without power for over 22 hours on Sunday, many pockets of the same areas had another harrowing night as supply was shutdown for close to three hours on Thursday.
Chief electrical engineer N N Reddy, who had feigned ignorance of Sunday’s massive power shutdown, tried to underplay the three-hour power failure.

“Maintenance work has been carried out and the situation has improved compared to what it was three years ago,” he told TOI, adding there haven’t been major power problems in the state since Sunday.

The power failure was due to tripping of Altinho substation due to a short-circuit at public works department’s sewage treatment plant at Tonca. Overgrown creepers and moisture entered a high voltage meter cubicle at the treatment plant, resulting in a short-circuit at around 1.15am.

Unaware of what caused the feeder to trip, the electricity department technicians unsuccessfully tried to restore power supply thrice and finally declared the line faulty.

What has become a norm, the electricity offices immediately kept their phones off the hook till they located the fault at around 3am and restored the supply.The electricity department was quick to put the blame on the PWD. “When there’s vegetation, there is bound to be moisture.

It is the consumer’s responsibility to maintain the site of a high-tension meter cubicle,” public relations officer and executive engineer of the electricity department C H Rajagopalan said.

“Locating the fault took time and the problem couldn’t be solved during the night,” he said, explaining the power shutdown later in the morning.

The electricity department personnel found the site of the 11,000-voltage metering cubicle at the plant in total neglect and covered in thick vegetation. Two dead rats were also found. The workers later cleared the site of thick overgrown vegetation.

The PWD was unaware that the short-circuit at their meter cubicle left citizens in other parts without power. “We accept that the creepers have grown and that this could be the cause. We will ensure that the site is cleared regularly and free of vegetation,” PWD assistant engineer Rosario Serrao told TOI. [TOI]

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