People came out of their rooms like ants from an anthill on Saturday, as a transformer failure cut off electricity from the entire campus. Coming just two days before the End-Sems begin, the power-cut drove people in hundreds to Ascendas to study.
There was no power for an almost twenty-hour long stretch on Saturday, starting around nine in the morning. Nobody was too perturbed initially, but by the evening, the power had shown absolutely no sign of being restored. Clusters of people with piles of photocopied notes were seen huddling around the few solar-powered streetlights near Sharav, and around the Administration Block, which had generator back-up. The EML by Boman Irani was shifted from the CLT to the IC&SR Auditorium. Power was restored for a couple of brief stretches in the night, and by around three in the morning the problem seemed to have been fixed; but many of the hostels didn’t have power for a large part of Sunday either.
The Engineering Unit apparently had everything back to normal by Sunday afternoon, and in the evening, one of its staff reassuringly said that there wouldn’t be any more power cuts. When told that exams begin on Monday, he cheerfully said, “Good Luck!”
Here’s a copy of the mail sent on Smail by Prof. Gandhi, Chairman of the Engineering Unit:
“As you may be aware, two of our 5 MVA transformers got simultaneously failed(which is a rare case) on Saturday morning around 0830 hr resulting in complete power failure in the entire campus. The time required for servicing/replacing the transformer is expected to take a minimum of 3-4 days.”
“To overcome the power requirements during this examination period, we have taken special permission from TNEB to give a temporary 11 kV, 3 MVA connection through our one of the old transformers available in 11 kV substation at the water sump near out gate. With this arrangement the power was restored late last night. This meets only 60% of our requirements and the situation will improve only after one of the failed transformers is repaired/replaced in few days.”
“Till such time, in order to ensure that there is no interruption of power, you are required not to use any air-conditioner in the house/office/laboratories, except the computer centre. In case of exceptional requirement of Lab/facility where use of air-conditioner is absolutely must, please send a written request to the undersigned through your Head of the Department for considerations. Avoid major testing and use of heavy machines till normal power is restored.”