Millennium Post

Sobhandeb takes stock of damage to power supply in Bulbul's wake

Kolkata: State Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay on Monday took stock of the extent of damage to power infrastructure in the state caused by the severe cyclone Bulbul.

He instructed P B Salim, chairman of West Bengal Power Development Corporation Ltd., to prepare a report on the damage to be submitted to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The maximum damage to power supply lines have occurred in South 24-Parganas, followed by Basirhat in North 24-Parganas.

The state Forest department has also witnessed damage to net fencing to prevent tigers from entering into villages. The water supply connections inside the Sunderbans for the forest staff and guards have also been badly damaged due to the cyclone.

"We have prioritised the restoration of power supply in the areas that were plunged into darkness due to the damage caused by the cyclone. We have been able to restore power connection in a major portion of the affected places by Sunday evening. Work is going on in war footing in a few areas that are still facing power cut," said Chattopadhyay.

As soon as power connections are restored completely, the department will make a comprehensive plan to repair the damage. "Several electric poles, transformers and sub-stations need to be replaced with new ones and the process will take time," a senior official in the department said.

The number of 11 KV (or less) sub-stations that have been damaged is 41, while the number of damaged 33 KV sub-stations is 54. 6,739 electric poles have been uprooted, while the number of transformers that have been destroyed is 47.

"The total damage that has been estimated till now is over Rs 8.5 crore, but it will be higher," the official added.

Achintyanagar in Patharpratima, Radhangar in Bakkhali and Hingalganj, Sandeshkhali I and Sandeshkhali II block under Basirhat sub-division in North 24-Parganas are still having problems.

"We have nylon net fencing on the river bank spread over a very large area to prevent tigers or other animals from straying into human habitat. There has been massive damage to the fencing and we have to undertake total replacement of

the nets. I have instructed the concerned officials to take up this work on war footing. Work has already begun for restoration of water supply to forest staff and guards," said Ravi Kant Sinha, state chief wildlife warden.

According to a senior official, when the storm had hit Sunderbans on Saturday night, there was low tide in the river.

"The water did not rise much and so there was no inundation. So, animals have not been much affected. There was greater damage to wildlife during Aila in 2009, as there was high tide," the official added.

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