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CM in dark, axe on officer

Madarihat, June 6: A divisional engineer of the state electricity utility was suspended today because of power cuts at the Jalpaiguri forest bungalow where the chief minister had put up on Wednesday night.

Sources said Mamata Banerjee was “furious” at the power cuts, which happened three or four times and lasted for 15 minutes in total. West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL) sources said the power lines tripped because of storm and rain.

Divisional engineer Soumen Das will remain suspended till the inquiry is complete. The sources said the PWD staff at the forest bungalow in Madarihat did not switch on the generators, saying the ACs would put too much load on the machines.

“Had the generators been used, there would not have been any problem,” a source said.

It was learnt that Mamata spoke to chief secretary Sanjay Mitra and asked him to take action. The sources said the chief secretary contacted the power secretary Gopal Krishna, who got in touch with the chairman-cum-managing director of WBSEDCL, Narayan Swaroop Nigam.

Krishna denied comment on the suspension.

A section of power department officials is unhappy with the action. “The lnes tripped because of inclement weather. Das did whatever he could. If officials are penalised in this manner, how can they work properly?” a source said.