21 Jan 2019 06:17am IST
Citizen JAIME E RODRIGUES, Santo Estevam
Your headlines of January 15, 2019 announcing “No power tariff hike……” is no consolation as the domestic consumer is already reeling under heavy power bills, some of the charges of which I feel are trumped up. Public Grievances Forum, if at all it comes into existence - would it be pro-consumer or just an ostentation.
There are many other anomalies the Electricity Department would have to tackle if they seriously desire to show their due concern for consumers.
Up to January 14, 2019 the street lights in our ward of Santo Estevam (Jua) village are lit day and night for the last three weeks. Earlier the street lights would be switched on late at night, keeping the streets dark but would ironically remain on during daylight till around 1 pm and sometimes even later. But now it has progressed to whole-day-light-on.
On December 24, 2018 and December 31, 2018, power supply was cut off in our village at a most inopportune time, around 8.30 pm and restored at around 10.30 pm causing immense difficulties to the Catholic community, as on both occasions we were preparing to go for night prayer services at the church. I would term this phenomenon as sheer incompetence of the Electricity Department because the reasons for this, we heard, were flimsy.
On the night of January 13, 2019 the power supply went off without warning at around 8.30 pm and was restored at around 1.00 am and in between some jokers were trying to fix it but failed in four attempts when the power would come on and go off immediately, causing damage to our electrical appliances.
Whenever such problems come, our neighborhood folks comes together to discuss and vent their ire (and console each other) in woeful times like this and the frustrated debate veers off to blame the whole situation on corruption of ministers and MLAs who take money from candidates to give jobs in government departments even if the candidates are not qualified or competent and hence, this is the result.
Surely, if qualified and competent engineers were employed by the Electricity Department, recruited on proper merits, then there would be no need to air all the above grievances. But what we have are unqualified, inapt personnel who probably have hand-on-job experience and perhaps are inebriated at night, left to handle emergencies. And the Electricity Department tries all sorts of tactics to shamelessly hike charges for such shoddy services.
It can be gleaned from the regular news we get through media that this kind of disorder exists in all government departments causing immense hardships and huge monetary loss to the tax payer as well as, at times, putting the lives of common man at risk.
This tragedy will live on, making lives of common man miserable. However, the responsibility for our woes lies square on the common man for not standing up to firmly and disallowing the corrupt practices of the persons in position, responsible for bringing about this our plight.
It is doubtful that there can be any hope of better services after the recent controversial recruitment of engineers into the Electricity Department, who, like their predecessors, will look forward to enjoy undeserved perks, end of service benefits and fat pension for job not so well done, all paid from the tax payer’s money.