PENANG: A last-ditch effort by the authorities averted what could have been a stressful weekend for thousands of Penangites a 10-hour power cut stretching from 10pm tonight to 8am the next day followed by a 7am to 9pm water disruption, also tomorrow.
At a hastily called press conference, Padang Kota assemblyman Teng Chang Yeow announced yesterday that Tenaga Nasional Bhd had postponed the scheduled power shutdown following a directive from Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon earlier in the day.
The chief minister told TNB to defer the power disruption as it would cause the affected businesses to incur close to RM1mil in losses.
Teng said the power disruption would have affected more than 5,000 residents and up to 1,000 business premises around inner George Town.
He said about 10 affected hotels had incurred some RM10,000 losses following cancellations of bookings by tourists while another 10 nightspots would have suffered hundreds of thousands of ringgit in losses.
Teng said the businessmen and hoteliers in the affected areas had received a notice on Wednesday, informing them of the power disruption.
At such short notice, they could not make preparations for the power cut.
Teng said they raised the matter with Dr Koh who advised TNB to hold a dialogue with the affected parties before deciding on the date for maintenance works.
TNB had planned to replace an old low voltage board with a new one in the Penang Road sub-station, which would have disrupted power supply to residents and shops along Campbell Street, Cintra Street, Kimberley Street, Rope Walk, Kuala Kangsar Road, Durnbury Lane, Tamil Street and Penang Road between 10pm on Saturday and 8am on Sunday.
Penangites meanwhile are stocking up water in drums and pails. A total of 220,000 people will go without water while 168,000 in inner George Town, Air Itam, Pulau Tikus, Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi, Teluk Bahang, Muka Head, Sungai Rusa, Balik Pulau, Tasek Glugor, Kampung Selamat, Kepala Batas and Bukit Panchor will experience low water pressure.
The water cut is to enable Penang Water Supply Corporation Sdn Bhd to carry out major waterworks in Jelutong and Weld Quay on the island, and at its facilities in Sungai Dua, Bukit Indera Muda and Jalan Sungai Dua in Seberang Prai.