It was a sleepless and sweltering Wednesday night for most Chennaiites courtesy a citywide blackout. Left with no power for nearly 7 hours, citizens are seeing red claiming that they were left in the lurch thanks to a govt that's busy squabbling amongst themselves.
"We were left with no power for so many hours in this heat and not one official received our calls. We got no communication about the outage or for that matter even when power would return," complains Harish, a north Chennai resident.
In fact the power supply is so erratic in the heart of Chennai that even offices suffered as their generators ran dry.
"For the last one week, power has been erratic and we've been struggling to cope. We're worried about how bad May is going to be especially considering the heat and our perishables' stock has already been hit," says Punit, who runs a grocery shop in Anna Salai.
The blackout comes a day after the supply of 1000 megawatts was stopped by the NTPC to Vallur power station due to non-payment of dues and many are now connecting the dots.
The government is facing a massive backlash with speculation rife that the citizens are suffering because the government failed to pay dues of up to Rs 1156 crore. But, state power minister Thangamani has laughed off these claims saying that it was merely a faulty cable that led to the power outage.
"There's no issue whatsoever. There's a power surplus in the state, so residents need not worry about further blackouts," assures Thangamani. The DMK, however, has latched onto the issue to once again highlight the lack of governance in the state.
"There is no governance whatsoever. We're all suffering in Chennai, but the government is busy in their own power games. The secretariat today lies empty because the govt is busy in their own party matters. How long can we go on like this," asks TKS Elangovan of the DMK.
And the issue has triggered quite a bit of anger among city folk as well who are putting the onus on the government, much like the DMK. The last thing the AIADMK needs is another question mark on their governance. But, going by the frequent power outages, it's going to be a long sweltering summer for Chennaiites.