Even in Rath Yatra, parts of Fani-battered Puri still descend into darkness

Puri: It is that time of the year when Puri usually gets agog with activities as the pilgrim city turns host for lakhs of devotees from across the globe during Rath Yatra. Though the first leg of the annual festival was conducted in a hassle-free manner today, people in several villages of the district are still reeling with power supply yet to be restored in their respective areas.

Fourty five days have passed since cyclone Fani hit the state on May 3, but people of several villages in Nimapara and Balanga areas are forced to live in the dark. The residents in these pockets have now lost hope as their grievances have fallen on deaf ears.

The residents are blaming the officials for the tardy restoration work. Moreover, the delay in power restoration is affecting their lives as most of them are still staying in several school buildings and cyclone shelters.

The signs of sheer neglect is clearly visible from the fact that Parbatipur village in Balanga area of the district, which is located barely 5 kms away from the local electric substation, is yet to get power supply.

“We are facing problems due to lack of power supply. Excessive heat and humidity are adding to our woes,” said a local resident of Parbatipur.

Similar is the situation in Kasia village where poles have been assembled but electric wires are yet to be drawn. Surprisingly, electricity has been restored only to 7 per cent consumers in Balanga area, sources said.

“It is now over a month that no equipment has reached here,” said a resident of Kasia village.