Agra, 11 May: Sweating in a power cut that stretched to more than 12 hours in almost half of Agra, and 24 hours at certain places, led to angry demonstrations at various places in the city Sunday.Forty days after private discom Torrent Power Ltd took over from the government- owned Dakshinanchal Vidhyut Nigam Ltd, promising full implementation of the Supreme Court directive of uninterrupted power supply to the Taj city, it's been a tale of endless sufferings for the locals with long hours of black outs, frequent trippings and breakdowns.
Torrent executive Deepak Thakkar has urged people to be patient, saying they had inherited a very complicated and sick infrastructure, compounded by "conspiracies and attempted sabotage bids" by employees shown the door by the government body DVNL.
The 24-hour helpline and complaint centers are recording grievances which are being attended to, said Pankaj Saxena, a senior official.
He said more than a dozen trees fell on power lines and a number of transformers were damaged due to the sudden bad weather.
"On Sunday, more than 100 people have been specifically put on the job to prune trees and restore supply promptly," Saxena added.
Vishal, a photo shop owner, said: "In our locality and parts of the MG Road, there's been no power for almost 22 hours. The helpline has stopped responding."
On Saturday, there were angry demonstrations at a dozen points in the city.
The tourism industry, which initially backed the transfer of power to the private company, is now having second thoughts.
"It's as if all hell has broken over Agra, with no one in a position to explain what's going on, why the city has suddenly been thrown into the dark age. The diesel generators are running round-the-clock, raising the air pollution level in the city," said a harassed power consumer Ram Nath.
"All that Torrent people keep saying is that we are not getting the desired cooperation from people and they are circulating imaginary stories of sabotage and conspiracies," Nath told Agratoday.in at the Church Road office of the company.