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Rangoon sans lights, water

Rangoon (Mizzima) – Residents living in upper floors in Rangoon Division are in a quandary, facing as they are severe water shortage due to frequent power disruption and low voltage of electricity supplied.

Rotational electricity supply in Rangoon Townships stopped since late last month. But the voltage is very low even when power is restored making it difficult to operate water pumps. So, residents living on upper floors are facing water shortage.

"We are tenants on the second floor. Our water pump is 1.5 HP but we could not pump up water for four days. On previous days we pumped water at about 2 a.m. and then went to bed. Now water is not available though we are deprived of our sleep," an upset resident in Kyaikkasan Ward, Bahan Township told Mizzima.

Earlier, electricity was supplied in Rangoon in a rationed manner in rotation. Group names like A, B and C were printed on electricity bills indicating hours of power cuts. Now these group names are no longer printed on the bills. Consumers cannot fathom when power will be restored and when there will a blackout.

"Earlier, we got power at six hours interval. One day each week we got round the clock supply. The system has changed. The township Electric Power Corporation (EPC) said that the power outage is due to maintenance of electrical poles when we contacted them," a local resident in Tamwe Township said.

The Chief Engineer from Rangoon EPC said that he was not authorized to answer questions relating to power distribution in Rangoon when contacted by Mizzima.

"Power supply was disrupted in Rangoon last year for many days. They said the reason was repairing leakage in the gas pipeline rendering gas turbines in Ahlone and Thaketa power stations out of service. Supply was rationed. The City FM owned by Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) announced this. Now we have no news from any quarter," an electrical appliance shop in Kyauktada Township said.

The power shortage has hit sales of some electrical appliances shops.

"No one will buy our goods when power failure is severe. The worst affected areas are six downtown townships in Rangoon," the sales in-charge from an electric appliance shop in Pazundaung Township said.

Internet cafes, supermarkets, beauty saloons and stores are badly affected due to frequent power outage.

An official from Latha Township electricity distribution department said that they issued a new schedule of electricity distribution last month where each group would get supplies in rotation -- power for six hours each day and no power for whole day in a week, and no power for 12 hours for two consecutive days.

"We are accustomed to noisy generators and feel uncomfortable when there's no such noise. Though they said electricity is being distributed according to the new schedule, it is not followed. We don't get power supply even between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. that they claimed were regular supply hours. At least three or four times there are power outages even during this period. In the daytime, it is terrible. We don't get power supply even for one or two hours in the daytime," a local resident from Rangoon said.

Similarly there have been total power outages in Mandalay over five days, a local resident said.

"They cut power since yesterday on the excuse of connecting the new Ye Ywa power plant to the power grid. They said it would be completed on 15 February and power would be restored that day. But till today, February 16 power is not yet available. We have never experienced such long power cuts before," a construction company owner from Mandalay said.

Internet cafes, construction works, furniture works and industrial zones in Mandalay are badly affected, he added.

Electricity is supplied in Rangoon by the hydropower plant in Lawpita, Kayah State and gas turbine power stations in Thaketa, Ywama, Hlawga and Ahlone.

The Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) blasted a pylon in Kayah State on January 23 leading to severe shortage in Rangoon, the Padaukmyay FM radio station in Naypyidaw alleged.

Last Updated ( Monday, 05 April 2010 17:20 )  

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