Power minister Aroop Biswas informed that the nor’wester last night caused damage to five districts of Darjeeling, Alipurduar, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar. The strong winds felled around 100 electric poles and around 250 cables snapped. There was extensive damage to insulators too, leading to power outages over the large areas of the district.
The minister informed that West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company (WBSEDCL) workers and officers worked overtime to restore power at the earliest so that students appearing for Higher Secondary exams are not much inconvenienced. The minister appreciated the efforts of the 300-odd workers on the ground who worked on a war footing to restore electricity. The minister lauded the work of the ground workers and said they will be recognized for their efforts.
Mr Biswas also informed that TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee was awake till early morning, today to enquire for updates on the restoration work, showing his concern for the examinees.
The minister said that the WBSEDCL has already started a control room with numbers 89007 93503/4 and will work 24×7.
Chief engineer distribution will be at the helm of the control room. Though the alert from the Met department was there, the sudden gust of winds did the damage, said the minister.
Mr Biswas said that he was also taking updates till the wee hours and went to sleep at 4am.
Another senior official of WBSEDCL informed that through the videoconferencing with district officials the minister had stressed that till the time of the HS exams (27 March) there should be no power issues at any household. Circulars have already been issued to all concerned departments to be alert till the nor’wester season is on.
Even after that, in April, according to Met predictions, a severe heat wave is expected and the WBSEDCL is taking all measures towards it.
Leaves of WBSEDCL employees have been cancelled till 28 March