After living without electricity and water supply for over 48 hours since cyclone Amphan wreaked havoc in the state, residents started protesting in several areas of Kolkata.
The protest first broke out in Jadavpur area where residents took to the streets demanding restoration of power and water supply.
According to Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) officials, water supply could not be restored in some areas as there was no electricity. So, even in places where water supply was available, residents in high-rises could not pump up water in their buildings due to lack of power.
Later in the day, protests also broke out in several other places, including Ajaynagar, Bijaygarh, Shakuntala Park, Panchasayar, Anandapur, Bagha Jatin, Tollygunge, Behala and airport areas.
“How can we live like this? There is no electricity for the last 48 hours. On top of that there is no water supply. We don’t even have water to wash our hands and mouths,” said a resident of Tollygunge Circular Road area. People in her locality could not also charge their mobile phones as there was no electricity, she added.
At Ajaynagar, people blocked the EM Bypass for half an hour in the morning. “As there is no electricity, water supply has been hit. What is CESC doing? Why can’t they restore electricity even two days later?” a man said.
Road blockades were also reported from Jadavpur and James Long Sarani in Behala area. “We went to seek police help. Some KMC workers came, but left in between their rescue work,” said a protester.
Similar protests erupted in Dum Dum area as well as Bally and Belur areas in Howrah district.
Chairman of board of administrators at KMC Firhad Hakim said power supply in most of the affected areas will be restored in the next two days.
“We have requested the CESC to restore power supply if possible by today or tomorrow. In large parts of Kolkata, state electricity board also supplies power. I had a discussion with officials and they said electricity will be restored by today. Right now, we are not restoring street lights as electrical poles and wires have been damaged in several areas.
Work to remove lamp posts and clear roads is on. Street lights will be restored in phased manner after getting certificates from CESC. In Behala, Tollygunge and Jadavpur areas where CESC runs electricity through overhead wires, CESC said it will take two days to restore power supply. I am constantly in touch with them to ensure electricity is restored as soon as possible,” said Hakim.
At Mandeville Gardens in Ballygunge, residents expressed their displeasure after water did not recede from apartment premises after two days.
State panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee rushed to the area to pacify the residents and assured them of all help.
“It is an issue with pumps. I have asked KMC to restart pumping stations to solve this issue,” said Mukherjee.
Meanwhile, several roads were blocked for traffic movement across the city as work to cut the fallen trees is yet to begin. In most of the roads, trees were uprooted due to the impact of cyclone Amphan on Wednesday. Even two days after the disaster, uprooted trees continue to remain on the streets in most of the places, including Alipore, New Aipore, Maidan, Ballygunge, Golf Green, Bhowanipore, Tollygunge, Gariahat, Salt Lake and on major roads in North Kolkata.
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