Power bill overdue, state-run tech institute in dark

Sri Krishnarajendra Silver Jubilee Technological Institute at KR Cirlce. DH FILE PHOTO

Hundreds of students pursuing various engineering courses at the state-run Sri Krishnarajendra Silver Jubilee Technological Institute (SKSJTI) were forced to sit in the dark for the last 10 days as the power supply was cut off.

Following massive dues towards electricity bills, the Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) disconnected the power supply and told the concerned college officials to pay the bill.

For the last 10 days, the college staff and students have been struggling as some of the classrooms have poor lighting and electricity is a must. According to college authorities, even the laboratories have been shut for the past 10 days with no practical classes conducted.

“As the semester examinations approach, we need to cover the syllabus for both theory and practical classes on time. With no power supply, we will be forced to conduct classes on weekends and holidays,” said a senior faculty.

As per the details available with DH, gathered from a source at the state department of technical education, the college owes Rs 6 lakh in electricity bills for the last six months.

“There were repeated notices and reminders from BESCOM. But, as funds weren’t released from the government, we could not pay the bills on time. We have brought this to the notice of the concerned officials at the department of technical education,” explained another senior faculty.

Though the college has power backup (UPS) facility to run the labs, as there is no power at all, there is no way to recharge the backup batteries. “Though we are having enough number of UPS systems to run the labs, they function for just three hours and need to be recharged thereafter. When the power supply to the college itself is disconnected, from where could we recharge the UPS systems?” a senior faculty wondered.

“It’s been as though the holidays have begun. In this cloudy weather, it is impossible to sit inside the classroom without switching on the lights,” said a student.

“In the last ten days, no practical classes were conducted. Labs are locked up. Even the teachers have no clue when the power will be restored,” another student said. 

The director of the department of technical education was unavailable for comment.

Common problem 

According to a source at the state department of technical education, fate of several state-run engineering colleges and polytechnics is no different from that of SKSJTI. According to the source, the electricity bills are due even for the government engineering colleges in Hassan, Chamarajanagar and KR Pete. The amount due is between Rs 4 lakh to Rs 6 lakh.

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