Monday, October 21, 2013

Electricity . . . Round the Clock

Since the last 4 months, we do not have government electricity connection to the campus.

Everything started off sometime in the middle of June, when the transformer that supplies our hospital including the surrounding villages blew up. Historically, the transformer was installed for the use of the hospital, but over time, the local villages also took connections from the same one. In spite of multiple requests for a separate transformer for the hospital, there was no response from the electricity department.

After the transformer blew up, we were into major trouble before we knew it. We already had a transformer donated from one of our sister units. We had applied for getting a separate connection. It was taking time. Meanwhile the replacement of the old electricity board transformer was not of the same quality as that of the previous one. The old one had copper winding. The new one had aluminium winding, which ensured that the quality was much inferior to the old one.

We connected the original load to the new transformer. It was just not able to manage the load. The villagers wanted to have the transformer all for themselves. They insisted that we get a separate transformer. We did not press the matter as we did not want to take any step which will antagonise the local village. Unfortunately, none of the village leaders thought about the need for hospital to have electricity.

We went to the Electricity Board and told of our predicament. It took quite a long time for permission to reach us. Unfortunately, after permission reached us, we were in for more trouble than expected.

The new transformer that we got as a donation blew up. Not once but twice. To cut the story short, we have sent the transformer for a complete overhaul. It would take another 10 days before it is ready.

Since June middle, the hospital is only running on generator except for couple of days when the transformer worked well. Our extra costs for diesel for the generators is almost 200,000 INR per month.

Our maintenance department under Dinesh was totally involved in this matter for the last 4 months. We thank the Lord for this group who toiled day and night to ensure that we would have answers.

Dinesh and co. trying to get the transformer repaired the first time it blew up. 

View from one of the transmission towers. Pic. courtesy. Mr. A Dinesh
In the middle of all these disappointments we’ve a matter of praise. About a month back, a new electricity sub-station has been commissioned in Latehar district. Within a month, another sub-station would start functioning in Daltonganj. This means that we’ve almost 22 hours of electricity a day in the government transmission. Soon, this can go up to a 24 hour electricity supply.

There is a major challenge here too. So far, the electricity transmission lines have been used to only a low voltage. With the arrival of the new substations, the voltage has gone up to normal levels. We hear that quite often there are breakdowns in transmission. Please pray that all this will be rectified by the time the refurbished transformer arrives. Considering the need of round the clock electricity, we also need to plan for one more transformer as a standby.

We request prayers that we would have electricity by the end of this month. Please pray for financial resources too as almost 500,000 INR has been spent so far. And now, there is the cost of refurbishing the transformer as well as purchasing a stand-by transformer. 

The transformer on it's way to Ranchi for an overhaul . . .

1 comment:

  1. Poor performance of electricity boards is a big hurdle ! Privatization is the only solution I see. Local power plants (renewable) is another solution !