Please Mr. Power E-in-C


On June 13, 2018, Nagaland Power Department’s Engineer-in-Chief made an appeal to the public, in a Press Release, which all local newspapers published on June 14, 2018. Basically, he urged power consumers to use “power judiciously” during the World Cup matches ~ but you must have already read it therefore his Press release needs no repletion. However, some repetition must be made. He wrote: “In view of the upcoming Soccer World Cup this is an appeal to all electricity consumers to kindly use power judiciously especially during the matches so as to avoid load shedding and power outage due to overloading of transformers and other equipment.” “… to avoid load shedding and power outrage of transformers and other equipment”? Seriously? Don’t they happen every other day, World Cup or no World Cup, and increasingly so since November 2017? It is highly objectionable that the Engineer-in-Chief is creating the impression that load shedding and power outrages for whatever reason(s) happen only during World Cups matches because power consumers do not use Power “judiciously”, and that rest of the time all is hunky-dory with the Power situation in Nagaland. So, what he has actually done is to preemptively protect his Department from brickbats for power failures and outrages and load shedding in the next one month and simultaneously he implies that if and when these power problems occur, the consumer is at fault for not using power “judiciously”. So, ostensibly being a public-spirited person, heading a public-spirited Department, he recommends a “few actions/initiatives for judicious use of power”, which should have been taught right from Nursery class at school. But I am given to understand that these days, they don’t teach common sense in school ~ perhaps, they stopped teaching common sense in school decades ago. This I know because I have switched off lights and fans in several empty Government offices particularly at Kohima and Dimapur when I had gone to these offices. In his Press release, the Engineer-in-Chief further mentions: “…due to the prevailing weather condition in the State, power interruptions may happen because of line, transformer or equipment faults. However, consumers are requested to stay calm and bear with the Department as line restoration teams will be there to rectify such faults, if any, on war footing.” Of course, consumers are well aware that there are certain weather conditions that disrupt power supply, sometimes even for days, but frequent “power interruptions” occur during all “prevailing weather conditions” ~ so the consumers want to know why. The consumers want to understand why the Power Department, power supply and the power scenario have such a “hide-and-seek” relationship with our varied climatic conditions ~ it’s not as if only in Nagaland these climatic conditions prevail. The consumers also know “too much rain, no electricity; too much sun, no electricity and in-between, no electricity” and this has nothing to do with the World Cup that happens only once in four years. Indubitably, everyone is eagerly looking forward to the World Cup ~ hopefully our Power Department will not come up with laughable excuses for power failures in the next one month and long after that too. Further, consumers have been staying calm and bearing with the Department for decades and have no choice but to continue to do so “when line restoration teams rectify faults, if any, on war footing”. But, seriously “on a war footing”? Perhaps, “war footing” in certain pockets at Dimapur and Kohima but there doesn’t seem to have been any “war footing” in several districts in Nagaland in several instances for months going by power consumers’ complaints across Nagaland, which are regularly reported by local newspapers. The Engineer-in-Chief concludes his Press Release by soliciting “cooperation with the Department and the Staff” from the consumers. Fair enough ~ but this time, just this once, the consumers solicit the Power Department’s cooperation to ensure that no power glitches occur during the World Cup ~ as much as they shouldn’t occur even during the rest of the year, especially during Board and University examinations. Is this asking too much of the Power Department? Will it also be asking too much of the Power Department not to attempt to shove all blame and responsibility on the consumers for power glitches in the state, World Cup or no World Cup? Incidentally, has it also occurred to the Power Department to enhance Nagaland’s Power consumption projections every year seeing that we are increasingly mainstreaming into the power-based economy?