Cyclone Fani aftermath: Over 30% of Puri still without electricity

Bhubaneswar: Several villages in cyclone Fani-battered Puri, Konark NAC and nearby areas still plunge into darkness as the sun sets – a reminder that return to normalcy is still a distant dream. Their excruciatingly long wait speaks volumes about the efficiency of the Odisha Energy Department, which has failed to restore power even more than a month has passed since cyclone Fani made landfall.

As per the data released by the office of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), electricity supply has been restored for 97 percent consumers in Khurda district and 67 percent consumers in Puri district.

People in ward no 11, 12 and 13 under Konark NAC and several blocks in Pipili, Gop and Nimapara in Puri district are forced to spend days without electricity.

“Residents of three villages are assisting the electricity department staff to restore power supply. But till now 11kv poles are yet to installed,” said Subodh Khatua, a resident of Konark.

“Power restoration work is moving at a snail’s pace. Staff and labourers are not coming to work regularly and this is affecting everybody’s life,” said Manas Ranjan Mohanty, a resident of Pipili.

The scenes at Mainsa and Berhampur villages under Krushnaprasad block of Puri district are no different. Located alongside Chilika, the Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon, boats are the only means of communication for the people in these two villages. This has led to delay in power restoration work as equipment and manpower have to be shifted in boats to these cut-off areas.

CESU officials of Puri division informed that a report regarding losses to the tune of Rs 1,110 crore in Puri, Nimapara and Khurda divisions has been submitted to the Odisha government. Similarly, efforts are on to restore power supply in rural pockets on a war-footing.

“We are working on restoring power supply in the affected areas,” said CESU executive engineer (Puri Divison), Siba Prasad Swain.