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Dark days ahead for Dunlop staff

Chinsurah, Jan. 22: More than 1,200 residents of Dunlop’s staff quarters at Sahagunj face a dark future with the state electricity board notifying that it will cut supply to the locked-out unit from February 4.

“The company owes us nearly Rs 12 crore in electricity bills. We had tried to sever supply on three earlier occasions but could not due to requests by the local MLA and others,” said Subhomoy Dasgupta, WBSEB divisional engineer at Chandernagore. This time, the power board will take police help to cut the power line to the entire Dunlop unit.

But the residents are livid. “We should not suffer as the company deducts the power bill from our retirement dues. We consider that we have paid for the power,” said Dipak Majumdar, who stays in quarter 72 of the Dunlop township.

Bansberia MLA Asutosh Mukherjee of the CPM said he would again request the power utility to reconsider its decision. “The residents have been pleading with the WBSEB to give them individual connections, but the power department had refused, stating that the connection was in the name of Dunlop and a breach of this would be illegal,” Mukherjee said.

Ashok Pal, vice-president of the Citu-affiliated Dunlop union, said supply to the staff quarters was already erratic. “They (WBSEB) switch off supply for a few hours every day. We can request them not to discontinue the supply,” Pal said.

The tyre factory has been closed since August 18, 2001.

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