Toiling under the candle light

Rural students preparing for exams affected by power cuts

 Examinations and power cuts have a history of going hand in hand. Generations of students have undergone this problem, which often has adversely affected the performance of students.

With power generation in Udupi Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) hampered, repercussions are seen in the form of power cuts, that has forced students in rural areas to study under candle lights or kerosene lamps.


Yashwanth is a second PUC science student from Vijayadeva PU College from T Narasipura taluk. He says that recurring power cuts are a problem for him. He has to study well for his examinations if his dream of becoming a doctor should be realised.

It is ok if there is no power during the day. We should have electricity during the nights. “Aadre enu maadodu. Current bittu bittu thegithaare (What to do, there is continuous power cuts),” he said. Unlike some of the economically better off families having a UPS connection at home, he has to study under a candle-light for his examinations.

Vice-principal of Balakeri Government PU College in K R Nagar, S P Nagaraj too is concerned. With around 500 students appearing for PUC and SSLC examinations from his college, he is concerned that frequent power cuts has affected the students. “Students in cities get continuous power.

In case of power cuts, people have alternate lighting arrangements there. Here we have candles,” he said. He however acknowledged that the condition in rural areas was worse off than the towns.
C S Aradhya from H D Kote, whose daughter, Niveditha C Aradhya, is appearing for second PU examinations feels that providing power from 6 to 12 pm is imperative.

However, due to power cuts, he has seen his daughter wake up at 2 am and study. “She’s forced to wake up at ungodly hours to study, because there is power supply only then,” he said.

Power Supply woes

UPCL was supposed to supply 1,200 MW of power to the district. However, due to shortage of coal, the district is relieving only 700 MW of power at the moment -- resulting in a shortage of 500 MW of power. Though Managing Director of Chamundeshwari Electric Supply Company (CESC), C Shikha is hopeful that UPCL will start generating enough power by March 8, the power cuts in the district has pestered students preparing for their examinations.

Shikha said that CESC is providing electricity from 6 to 11 pm in rural areas, with one hour power cut in between. However, the condition appears different in taluk centres and rural areas.

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