Tourists often complain about the frequent power cuts that the valley faces. Electricity is a luxury at this place with major hotels compensating the deficit with generators. Unaccustomed travellers from country and beyond find it difficult to do without room heaters & water geysers especially when mercury very often dips below the zero mark. At such times they are quick to blame the local administration for the nuisance. But then there’s another side….
Meet M.D Jamal, an engineer at Tawang electricity board whom I met by chance while strolling through the streets. When I similarly complained to him about the situation he gave me a reality check. Tawang being almost cut off from the mainland state due to high peaks in between, transmission lines are very difficult to construct and maintain. The only proper source are the hydroelectric power projects in the vicinity. The demand of the city is around 16000 MW against an abysmal supply of 7000-8000 MW, which too is dependent on flow of water. So he’s assigned with a hard task of dividing the availability with demands of each area at proper time of day and duration. With the ever rising requirements and restricting resources (decreasing water in streams especially after monsoon) it’s getting difficult for him to satisfy the needs of the valley.
But then there’s optimism! He said that locals are getting used to solar ways and the government is also trying to promote it. He is hopeful that next time when i visit again he won’t get a complain.
And I kept wondering whether it should ever be me or him complaining at all!