Hyderabad Rains: ‘Smart City’ turns into ‘dark city’ sans power

Hyderabad: The city, which was given the status of ‘Smart City’, is not very smart after all, Tuesday’s rains proved. The city literally blacked out after incessant rains due to power outages across Hyderabad, with some areas witnessing blackouts for 12 to 24 hours.

The control room of the Telangana State Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (TSSPDCL) was flooded with 2,000 complaints from across the Greater Hyderabad area between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning for the restoration of power supply. On Tuesday, a few minutes after winds started blowing, power outages were experienced across Hyderabad which lasted till Wednesday evening. 

A badly wrecked home due to rains at Lothkunta in Hyderabad. Photo: Dr. Murdula Tunga

Not only that, several power sub-stations were inundated, electric towers and poles were uprooted in the city due to heavy rains and as the gates of Himayatsagar opened water being released into the Musi River.

Several residential colonies on both sides of the city’s central and north zones witnessed long hours of power outage since Tuesday night after rains. Residents of Secunderabad, Rasoolpura, Begumpet, Balanagar, Malkajgiri, Khairatabad, MS Maqta, Lakdi Ka Pul, King Koti, Abids, Tolichowki, Golconda, Shaikpet were among the areas that complained of unscheduled power cuts, which lasted for anywhere between 8 to 12 hours.

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In some areas, residents complained that power did not come back till Wednesday evening and vented their anger on social media against the power distribution company and Telangana government for failing to provide them with adequate power. Many criticized that the power infrastructure in the city was poor, and that even a spell of rain leads to frequent power outages.

Citizens also said that the power outage hampered their work from home routine. A resident of Golconda, Shekar Reddy, tele-caller for a city-based health company said, “I wasn’t able to work for 12 hours and couldn’t attend patients’ calls due to power outage.”

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“It was only after our neighbors helped me to charge the laptop, that I could attend for my virtual work,” added Shekar.

In many areas, the power supply was hampered due to faulty cables, said TSSPDCL officials, adding that the power restoration in the inundated areas would not be possible until the water is completely drained out. “We are trying to attend as many as complaints,” they quoted.

Officials informed that eight major towers, which belonged to the erstwhile Hyderabad state of the Nizam-era, that supply power to 220 Kv substations washed away and two other substations submerged due to waterlogging. 

“As a precautionary measure, power supply was disconnected in 148 transformers within TSSPDCL limits, that supply power to 60 areas of the city as the flood water gushed into the colonies,” an official said.

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