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Power was restored in some parts of the city on Tuesday following the largescale destruction caused by cyclone Vardah. However, many areas in the city and outskirts are still in the dark.
The winds uprooted electricity poles disrupting transmission of high tension electricity to substations. The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) is racing against time by bringing more than 3,000 additional workmen from various parts of the State to restore power to several electricity substations and streets.
Areas including Tondiarpet, Royapuram, Tiruvottiyur, R.K. Nagar, Pattabhiram, Velachery, Taramani, Selaiyur, Madipakkam, Moovarasampet, Nanganallur, Ullagaram-Puzhuthivakkam, Keelkattalai, Tambaram, and Madambakkam have been left without power and are expected to be fully restored only on Wednesday. Particularly areas in south Chennai, which are served by overhead power lines, have been the worst-affected as more than 2,500 electricity poles have been fallen. Compounding the problem for TANGEDCO officials was trees falling on transformers in several areas within city limits.
Absence of electricity for more than 48 hours has caused immense hardships. Residents are unable to fill overhead tanks or charge mobile phones. A road roko seeking restoration of power was staged by residents in Royapuram.
T. Sadagopan, a consumer activist from Pattabhiram, said the power blackout has affected people from all walks of life as they are unable to pump water to their overhead tanks, closure of petrol filling stations, shutdown of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and suburban train services including Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) getting affected.
A senior TANGEDCO official cited disruption of electricity supply to important substations like Taramani, KITS Park in Sholinganallur, Kadapperi, Madambakkam and Tondiarpet due to falling of a large number of high tension poles in Padappai, Manali, Korattur and Madambakkam as the cause for electricity officials unable to restore power quickly.
The electricity official said their first priority was in restoring power supply to the substations and then to low-tension consumers. For most part of Tuesday, the maintenance staff have been engaged in re-fixing the fallen high tension poles. He said power was gradually restored in Triplicane, Mylapore, R.A. Puram, T. Nagar, Kodambakkam, K.K. Nagar, Besant Nagar, and Virugambakkam. Regarding power restoration in various parts of south Chennai, the official said repair work of fallen electricity poles in interior streets would be carried out on Wednesday.
A local official of Tondiarpet also brought to focus the poor maintenance of the 230-kilo Volt (kV) substation in Tondiarpet as the reason for several areas in city facing power blackout.
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