Raise your voice to #PrivatizeBESCOM - Bangalore deserves better.

Raise your voice to #PrivatizeBESCOM - Bangalore deserves better.

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Bangalore Citizen started this petition to Fellow Bangalore Citizens

'The Vision of BESCOM is to become number one in customer satisfaction in South Asia in Power Distribution'

Have you ever come across a crueler joke? This is the current Twitter bio of @NammaBESCOM reads when at any given time there is no power in at least 20%-30% of the city, going by their Twitter account.

Bangalore citizens are victims of daily power cuts, mostly unscheduled and calls for a permanent fix falls into deaf ears. Unless you live in an apartment with power backups, you can only pray that there is no power cut whilst you are doing any work - important or otherwise. Making dinner? Working on a project? Getting ready to go out? You cannot be sure that you will have power during any of these activities. And this is on a normal sunny day! If you ask for a reason, the common answer given is there is some feeder fault or some sort of maintenance work going on. Almost daily? Just how incompetent are BESCOM engineers?

During a rainy day, it's a given that the city will plunge into darkness. This even made its way into national news. One whiff of gusty wind or a few minutes of rain and voila, power cut. Then it's up to BESCOM's mercy when the power will come back. You are stuck inside your home in darkness without doing anything until then. On top that, you keep getting bitten by mosquitos since it becomes very difficult to spot them in the dark.  

Recently, BESCOM has started another trend of cutting power during processions. Has anyone ever heard of such an absurd reason in a country where processions are commonplace? And these power cuts last long - at the time of writing this petition, two days back there was a SEVEN HOURS of power cut in Ejipura - Central Bangalore, the day before yesterday SIX HOURS and yesterday FOURTEEN HOURS!! When the entire country is trying to move towards underground electric cables, BESCOM is happy to disconnect power for long periods so that no untoward accident happens due to an overhead live wire. Unfortunately, people still die in Bangalore due to exposed electric wires.

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Ejipura is the place this petitioner resides in. We are facing continuous power cuts almost daily since well over a year now. Sometimes the outages last for minutes, sometimes for hours. As evident by the @NammaBESCOM Twitter account, almost the entire city faces this problem.

Now, coming to Twitter, it is one of the places where customers can call BESCOM out when there is a power problem. It is extremely difficult to reach their helpline number 1912. However, on Twitter, you will get no resolution but only updates. They will, however, make sure to ask about your contact and address details publicly - no respect for anyone's privacy. If you call them out too much on Twitter, you will be blocked!

BESCOM helpline, if you manage to reach them, will also give you the area engineer's number sometimes. Yours truly once called such an Engineer (Abhishek, Austin Town) and asked him what was the reason for frequent power cuts. He simply disconnected the call and didn't answer again. BESCOM also arranges meetings for customer grievance redressal but an insider (who has left the job since) told me it's all a hogwash.

How are we supposed to live in a modern city if half the time there is no power? A freelancer cannot work without power; not to mention the heat. How do small kids or elderlies cope with such situations if the parents/caretakers are unable to switch on the fan or AC? How does someone study in darkness daily to prepare for a better future or just live if their life is dependent on some medical equipment? It becomes very difficult to even breathe properly due to lack of power in our homes.

BESCOM has made Bangalore feel like a third-class city but they just don't care. They even increased the price of electricity after the general election results without even providing it properly in the first place. If you don't pay, they will make sure to cut your line though. Their target starts and stops with money; do hell with customer's needs. Doesn't take a genius to see that corruption has crept in deep.

As citizens, we should now say enough is enough! Unlike BESCOM, we understand our responsibility and we don't mind paying reasonable rates as long as we get proper power at least. Since BESCOM has proven itself highly incapable of providing people with the kind of electric power a city like Bangalore deserves, a private organization should take over BESCOM and made accountable. Fine them if they are unable to deliver. We are not living in a remote village to suffer daily like we are doing now. We have to raise our voice if we are to come out of this BESCOM menace. Hopefully, we will then have a better standard of living.

Please help make this campaign a success for a better future. Sign, share and use the hashtag #PrivatizeBESCOM in your social accounts to make the city a better place. If this works, we may have brighter days (and nights) ahead. Thank you.

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