Power restored, Kolkata limps back to normalcy

The state home department said 240 out of the affected 273 substations in Hooghly, North 24 Parganas, Nadia, East Midnapore and South 24 Parganas districts have been restored.
The announcement came hours after many citizens blocked roads, including in Kolkata.(HT photo/ Samir Jana)
The announcement came hours after many citizens blocked roads, including in Kolkata.(HT photo/ Samir Jana)
Updated on May 25, 2020 10:32 AM IST
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Kolkata, West Bengal | By

The West Bengal government said on Sunday that it had restored power to large swathes of the areas battered by the cyclone Amphan even as local residents in many parts of the state protested against the lack of basic amenities.

In a series of tweets, the state home department said 240 out of the affected 273 substations in Hooghly, North 24 Parganas, Nadia, East Midnapore and South 24 Parganas districts have been restored by the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL).

The home department also tweeted that CESC, the private firm CESC that is Kolkata’s only power provider, had informed the government that supply had been restored in more than 20 parts of Kolkata.

“We are working on war footing. Some areas are still inaccessible and we have deployed generators to run water pumps. We hope to restore normalcy by Tuesday,” said a CESC spokesperson.

The announcement came hours after many citizens blocked roads, including in Kolkata. “This is our fourth day without power. The last teleconference I had with my colleagues was on Wednesday, when the cyclone hit the city. We visited the local CESC office every day but nobody came to repair the lines,” said Amitabha Sen, an information technology professional .

Over the past three days, there were numerous instances of people from one area trying to outdo others in persuading CESC engineers to attend to their problems first. On Sunday afternoon, the Regent Park area in south Kolkata even witnessed a scuffle between old residents after power returned to one part of the neighbourhood.

“After returning from work my daily routine was to find out where the cables were being repaired. People from other areas often used to whisk away the CESC engineers,” said Somdeb Bhowmick, a businessman from Lake Gardens.

“The moment it was noticed that so many trees had fallen and utility cables had snapped we asked CESC to provide us a list of trees they want us to remove. They could not do it. Later they informed us that a lot of their employees went home because of the lockdown,” Kolkata mayor Firhad Hakim told the media.

“The army and NDRF have done a great job. All major roads in Kolkata have been cleared of trees and debris,” said the mayor.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tanmay Chatterjee has spent more than two decades covering regional and national politics, internal security, intelligence, defence and corruption. He also plans and edits special features on subjects ranging from elections to festivals.

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