Despite the request of the Minister of Electrical Energy, Néstor Reverol, to be patient with the maintenance and repair work on the N2 transmission line from ‘El Tablazo’ to ‘Cuatricentenario, the people of Zulia allege that trying to cope between 5 and 8 hours without electrical service is inhumane.
This last week of January and beginning of February, “rationing” (euphemism for failure or collapse) has been overwhelming. Personal and work activities are affected, practically paralyzed by the suspension of the electrical power supply.
Maracaibo’s resident, Del Mar Castillo, commented that she feels tired, exhausted, because her work day starts at 7:00 in the morning, but she wakes up at 5:00 am to try to get her things ready. She reported that the electrical service is suspended from 8:00 at night until 12:00 am and is repeated later from 3:00 am to 7:00 am.
“I do not sleep well. Believe it or not, I don’t have air conditioning, a power outage damaged it and I don’t have money to repair it. I only have one fan for my son and me, so you can imagine the heat, the mosquitoes, etc. I have an electric stove, it is difficult for me to cook. I always get home after 6:00 in the afternoon.”
She said this new “rationing” schedule, even though it is for repairs, is creating extra expenses for her pocketbook. “Who recognizes these for me? Nobody,” questioned Castillo, who is a public employee.
“Many days I can’t make breakfast or lunch. So I have to buy these and many times I don’t have the money. You have to drink a lot of water or sigh to fill yourself up. The transport has left me behind, because I fall asleep, and there comes another expense with the bus fares,” she said.
Néstor Reverol, who is also Sector Vice president of Public Works and Services, reported that maintenance work is progressing satisfactorily on the 400 KV N2 transmission line from ‘El Tablazo to Cuatricentenario’ in Zulia State.
He explained that the repairs include the replacement of around 60 kilometers of conductor wires through 85 towers. Phase B of the project includes rewiring a stretch of 20 towers, which are located in the middle of Lake Maracaibo.
Minister Reverol reported that the works are programmed to be carried out during 63 days with the purpose of providing more reliability and stability to the National Electric System (SEN).
“That cable was in service for about 23 years and we are replacing it. That is why we apply load management (rationing). We ask the people of Zulians for their understanding,” said the official.