Tribune News Service
Mandi, January 10
The problem of erratic power supply and low voltage during the winter has become a cause for concern for hoteliers in Manali. They are unable to provide adequate facilities to tourists during their stay, hotel owners complain.
Low voltage and erratic power supply in Manali town are causing inconvenience to tourists who are finding it difficult to heat water for bathing and use room heaters, especially during the night, they say.
The hoteliers say they have met officials of the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board (HPSEB) several times and apprised them of the problem to find a suitable solution.
Hem Raj Sharma, owner of a hotel in Manali, says, “Low voltage is a big issue here. The problem is persisting for the past several years. During the winter, power supply becomes erratic, affecting the tourism industry”.
Anup Thakur, president of the Paryatan Vikas Mandal, Kullu-Manali, says, “We have apprised officials of the issue and demanded strengthening of the power supply structure. We urge the district administration as well as the Electricity Department to ensure regular power supply because the issue is adversely impacting tourist footfall”.
Sanjay Kaushal, Superintendent Engineer of the HPSEB, Kullu, says, “We have increased the power load from 26 MV to 30 MV in Manali this year before the onset of the winter. During Christmas and New Year, the load consumption went up to 34 MV”.
“For next year, we are planning to enhance the load capacity to find a permanent solution to the problem,” he adds.
It is disappointing that we are facing problems during winters, which is the peak tourist season. The state government talks about promoting the tourism sector but it has failed to develop even the basic infrastructure. — Hem Raj Sharma, hotel owner