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Cyclone Amphan: Protests continue, Bengal govt says power supply restored in 50% city areas

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |

Published: May 25, 2020 7:37:30 am

The destruction caused by Cyclone Amphan in East Midnapore in West Bengal. (Express photo)

As protests continued over restoration of electric and water supply five days after cyclone Amphan wreaked havoc in the city, the state Home Department on Sunday said power had been restored in several areas of Kolkata.

However, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation pinned the blame on Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation, which provides power to residents of Kolkata and Howrah, for not being able to restore power supply. He said that electricity supply was back only in 50 per cent areas of the city.

In a series of tweets, the Home Department said, “The Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC) has reported to the government that major parts of the following areas have been restored power: Jadavpur, Selimpur, Mukundapur, Survey Park, Patuli, Regent Estate, NSC Bose Road, Behala Chowrasta, James Long Sarani, Silpara,Lake Town, Jessore Road, Nagerbazar, Rash Behari Connector, BB Chatterjee Road.”

The government added that most water and drainage pumping stations had also been operational.

The department said the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL) had restored power in major parts of the following areas, including Garia, Bansdroni, Kestopur, Baguihati, Teghoria, Salt Lake, New Town, Barasat, Tamluk, Egra, Contai, Krishnagar, Santipur, Ranghat, Gayespur and Kalyani.

“WBSEDCL further reports that power has been restored in major areas of Nadia and East Midnapore. Power has been restored to most of the PHE water supply and hospitals. Most of the irrigation pumping stations are operational now,” it added.

Later in the day, the Home Department also said the state government had been trying to restore power and essential services in rest of the areas in a war footing. It had given firm directions to CESC & WBSEDCL and teams were working 24×7. Fallen trees were being removed by civic and state bodies with the help of Army & NDRF as well as all state government agencies had been deployed, it added.

Meanwhile, in several areas of the city people put up road blockades Sunday demanding immediate restoration of power supply. Protests were held at prominent areas, including Behala, New Alipore, Regent Park and Jadavpur.

Following several protests on Saturday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said, “I can apologise to you, or you can cut my head off.”

Speaking to mediapersons on Sunday, chairman of KMC’s board of administrators Firhad Hakim said, “It is not the fault of KMC or state government. CSCE is responsible for providing power supply to residents. They have not been able to restore power supply. So, people faced problems because of CESC. It informed state government that power supply has been restored in 50 per cent areas. Rest will be completed by tonight,” said Hakim.

He also informed that additional 360 workers have been engaged in cutting and removing uprooted trees from the roads.

Over 86 people have lost their lives in West Bengal, since the cyclone made its landfall here on Wednesday.

Army would have been called 3 days ago if kept in loop: Dhankhar

Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Sunday hit out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, stating that the Army would have been called three days back to carry out post-cyclone relief work if the TMC chief had kept the Governor’s office in the loop.

Using his Twitter handle, Dhankhar said, “Urge Mamata – be in touch with Guv- had this been done army would have been called 3 days back”.

He said he is distressed and pained at the horrifying spectacle of people suffering for lack of basic facilities for several days and appealed people to stay calm.

“Am distressed and pained at the horrifying spectacle of people suffering for lack of basic facilities, now for days. My appeal: Government/agencies must be in overdrive to restore services. Urge people to keep calm, time to bear as reaction can wait,” he added.

“Share real loss @PMO India: inflating figures is counter-productive,” he said, tagging the PMO’s handle.

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