Dumka, Aug. 23: “Bijli na pani, kehne ko up rajdhani.”
This saying, which roughly translates into “No power, no water, it’s a sub-capital in name only”, has gone viral in Dumka, which is reeling under acute crisis of the twin basic necessities even though its “son of the soil” is at the helm of affairs.
The tribal populace is angry that local MLA Hemant Soren, who is warming the chief minister’s chair in Ranchi, has done little to improve the water and power scenario in the region. In fact, the crisis has become all the more acute after JMM patriarch Shibu Soren’s son grabbed the hot seat over a month ago.
Frequent power cuts running up to three to four hours a day coupled with insufficient water supply are telling on the nerves of the people.
“We have been receiving only 6MW of power as against the normal requirement of 18MW every day for the past week,” an official at the local substation said.
JSEB general manager (Dumka) P.R. Saran blamed the shortfall on a breakdown at the NTPC thermal power station at Farakka, Bengal. “We are in touch with NTPC authorities for early restoration of supply. We are also looking for alternative sources to meet the deficiency,” he said.
Power cuts have hit water supply. “We cannot pump in water to and from treatment plants if the pumps don’t run, which happens often because of low voltage or no electricity at all,” said executive engineer of drinking water and sanitation department Mangla Purty.
JMM’s district president Subhash Singh maintained that Hemant was always sensitive about local issues. “We have spoken to JSEB officials to restore normalcy at the earliest,” he said.