Cyclone Fani Aftermath: No end to electricity woes in sight

Bhubaneswar: More than 72 hours after cyclone Fani hit several parts of coastal Odisha and Bhubaneswar, the restoration work doesn’t seem to have been executed at a desired pace triggering resentment in affected areas.

Even in VVIP areas in Bhubaneswar like the Governor House damaged electric poles and uprooted trees can be found lying on the roads betraying the fact restoration work is yet to begin. As per reports, more than 10,000 electric poles have been damaged in the capital city but no noticeable work towards restoration of electricity infrastructure is triggering concerns.

“There are broken trees and electric poles lying everywhere in this area. It seems like it is going to take at least 15 to 20 days for things to be restored,” said a Raj Bhawan worker, Santosh Bastia.

Meanwhile, several meetings were held by Central Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha (CESU) to assess the situation. Energy Secretary Hemanta Sharma held discussions with senior officials of CESU and NTPC today to review the situation in the affected areas.

“There is a shortage of manpower. In Puri only, we need 10,000 people to execute the restoration work but we don’t have so many people. It may take 15 to 20 days for the work to be completed in Puri but we can only give a clear assessment in 2 days. In Bhubaneswar, 25 per cent power supply will be restored by tomorrow,” informed Sharma.

Of the four grids in Bhubaneswar, power is being supplied from Chandaka grid to hospitals, airport and pump houses supplying drinking water. But, in the absence of power supply to residential areas, hot weather has aggravated the problems of Bhubaneswar residents.

“It is so hot that we are not able to sleep. After elections, the government is not at all concerned about us at all. One can imagine how difficult must be the situation for patients,” said a Bhubaneswar resident.

OPTCL Director (Operation), Uttam Kumar Samal, said, “I urge Bhubaneswar residents to join hands with us so that we can together resolve the issue. I think power will be restored in the capital city within two to three days.”

In Cuttack, two grids have been charged to supply power to SCB Medical College & Hospital, Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre and Shishu Bhawan. However, there is no specific time period set by the local administration by which restoration work will get completed, informed sources.