Dumka, Sept. 15: To honour or not to honour is right now the question on the mind of JMM leaders.
JMM cadres are in a dilemma to welcome chief minister Hemant Soren during his scheduled September 19 visit to Dumka, as residents of the sub-capital and other parts of Santhal Pargana are reeling under acute power crisis and are upset with the government. This will be Hemant’s second visit to his home constituency since he became the chief minister.
Although the town unit of the JMM has planned to organise Nagrik Abhinandan for Hemant, the growing resentment among a section of local residents against the erratic power supply for over one month has put the party supporters in a fix. According to sources, a group of local youths are planning to show black flag to Hemant as a mark of their protest.
“Should the people of Dumka wait for him (Hemant) to become the Prime Minister to get rid of the crisis of even basic amenities?” asked a local resident who plans to show black flag to the chief minister on Thursday.
The prevailing power crisis in Hemant’s own constituency and Santhal Pargana, which is considered to be a JMM bastion, has become a topic of discussion at the roadside tea stalls with people accusing the state government for the state of affairs.
The JMM local leaders are hapless.
“We find ourselves in a very difficult situation, as the complaints against the power crisis is nothing but true,” said a local JMM leader, requesting anonymity. He added that given the circumstances honouring the chief minister would only fan the prevailing ire among the residents. The local leaders here have abreast the central leadership of this growing anti-JMM public opinion.
Political rivals, too, are making good use of such an opportunity.
The JVM(P) and BJP members burnt effigies of chief minister Hemant Soren at Tin Bazar Chowk yesterday to mark the protest.
Though the district has been facing power crisis for over a month now, things have worsened in the last couple of days after the 315MVA transformer in Lalmatia broke down.
According to electricity board sources, the Maharo substation in Dumka is receiving merely 10MW from Lalmatia, which is the main source of supply to the district, against a requirement of 80MW. Both Dumka and Pakur receive power from the Maharo substation.
“Out of the 10MW, the Dumka substation is being supplied only 5MW, while the rest is going to Pakur,” Thakur Choudhary, executive engineer of the electricity board, told The Telegraph, adding that at least 20MW was required to ensure uninterrupted supply in all the eight feeders of the town.
Thus, electricity is only available for a few hours.