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City reels under power outage

Vast stretches in south Calcutta experienced power cut on Tuesday after underground cables were damaged allegedly by workers of a private telecom company.

Power supply to Gariahat, Hazra, Deshapriya Park, Maddox Square, Rashbehari Avenue, Ballygunge and adjoining areas was severely affected since morning.

A CESC spokesperson said two of the three main cables feeding power to the utility’s Ritchie Road distribution station were damaged at Ballygunge Place because of “irresponsible digging”.

“The cables were damaged around 3.45am, disrupting flow of 20MW of power,” said the spokesperson.

CESC undertook repairs on a “war footing” and restored supply within 15 minutes.

“But as the day progressed, the demand for power increased because of the weather. The situation worsened around 9.45am and we had to resort to rotational shedding,” said a distribution official.

Normality was restored at 9.30pm on Tuesday, said a CESC official.

Southern Avenue resident Subrata Sircar, a homemaker, said the power cuts caused a great deal of discomfort on a day when the swelter returned after four days of pleasant weather.

“We suffered two power cuts, one at noon and the other around 3pm, both lasting for over 30 minutes,” she said.

Shonkolon Mitra, a 32-year-old Ballygunge Place resident, said the spells of power outage added up to three hours till 8pm.

“The power outage caused more problems for us because we had guests over at our place for a family lunch,” said Mitra.

Sarat Bose Road resident Arnab Basu said: “There were two power failures — one early in the morning and another one just as I was about to leave for work. I returned home around 4.30pm to yet another power failure. This has happened after a long time and at the worst possible time.”

The CESC spokesperson expressed “serious concern” over the recent incidents underground power cables being damaged by other agencies.

“In March and April this year, there have been around 15 such incidents,” he said.

Power department sources said the telecom company would be hauled up and warned against recurrence of such incidents.