Till last week, K Sudakar, a class 7 student of a government school in Sembakkam, used to complete his homework before sunset as the erratic power supply doesn’t allow him to study beyond nightfall.
Not any longer. The ordeal of students like Sudakar has ended with the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) setting up new power substations in Kovilambakkam, Kits Park in Sholinganallur, Puthu Thangal in West Tambaram and Rajakilpakkam in East Tambaram. While sub-stations at Kovilambakkam, Kits Park and Puthu Thangal are operational, the one at Rajakilpakkam has completed its trial run.
“More substations mean less power fluctuations and disruptions. More substations are coming up, one near the Medavakkam bus terminus and another at Chitlapakkam. All these would improve the power situation in the suburbs,” a Tangedco official said. The substation at Rajakilpakkam was built at a cost of Rs 84 lakh and has around 15,000 consumers. This will be upgraded to a 110kv substation, the official said.
The power capacity at Kovilambakkam and Rajakilpakkam is 33/11kv, while the substations at Kits Park and Puthu Thangal are 110/11kv. The 110kv substation has more capacity to hold power than the 33/11kv sub-station. Earlier, the 230kv sub station in Kadaperi in West Tambaram was the lone source of power supply to over a dozen areas including Tambaram, Selaiyur, Mudichur, Rajakilpakkam, Sembakkam, East Tambaram and Medavakkam. Due to overloading, the systems at Kadaperi used to break down often, resulting in outages.
With the opening of new substations, power from Kadaperi is transformed to feeder units at these substations and distributed to different neighbourhoods according to the availability of power and demand. Sub-stations at neighbourhoods also help authorities to address complaints quickly. “Earlier, I had to change tube lights once a fortnight due to fluctuations. Now, the situation is better,” said S Kamatchi, a resident of Selaiyur.
A separate substation was a decade’s demand of Rajakilpakkam residents. Built on a 19,200-sq ft land given by the Sembakkam panchayat two years ago, the work on the substation began in March this year. Tangedco gave the local body Rs 2 crore for constructing the structure.
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