Making hay while the sun shines

Energy trading has turned out to be a thriving business in this major trading centre, which is still without power following the cyclonic storm Phailin.

Quite a large number of makeshift kiosks have come up in Berhampur to provide power charging facility for mobile phones and rechargeable emergency lights for a price.

These kiosks use diesel generator sets to recharge small rechargeable electronic equipment. To recharge a mobile phone or a small emergency light, one has to pay Rs.20.

The kiosks have come up near the Biju Patnaik Park, enlivening the otherwise devastated area. People are queuing up at these kiosks.

R. Srinu, who owns a smart phone, says he has been spending Rs.20 to Rs.40 daily since the past one week as the phone uses more power.

Good income

Mantu, along with a few other youths who have opened the kiosks, says delay in power restoration has helped him earn some good income.

Persons owning diesel generator sets are also making a good income by giving the equipment on rent on hourly basis. These generator sets are fetching Rs.500 per hour apart from fuel expenses.

Water scarcity

Many families in this perennially water scarce city are forced to hire the service of these generator sets to lift water to their overhead tanks.

Pranita Das, a housewife, says she and her house owner are now hiring generator sets every alternative day.

“I have realised the value and price of water and electricity,” she says, philosophically.


A large number of makeshift kiosks have come up in Berhampur to provide power charging facility for a price






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