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Power-cut axe

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

Sources said Mamata Banerjee was “furious” about 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.

It was learnt that Mamata told chief secretary Sanjay Mitra to take action. The sources said the chief secretary spoke to 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.

“Lines tripped because of inclement weather. Das had done whatever he could. If officials are penalised in this manner, how can they work properly?” a source said.