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Road stir over power pangs

Jamshedpur, Aug. 9: Resentment over absence of electricity for more than three days in Mango spilled onto the streets this morning with angry residents blocking Dimna Road, the gateway to Jamshedpur from NH-33, for over four hours.

Long queues of vehicles formed on Mango bridge as a 200-strong crowd, backed by the BJP’s Mango unit, staged blockades at two points of the crucial artery — Dimna Roundabout on NH-33 and near Subhash Colony — at 8am.

The residents threatened to continue to disrupt traffic till power connection was restored.

Mango had been doing without electricity since Thursday after high-tension cables snapped in a mishap involving an overloaded truck on Marine Drive. The truck hit the 33KV transmission lines, which connect Mango substation with Gamharia power grid. As a result of the impact, the cables came loose and fell into Subernarekha river that flows along Marine Drive.

“We have been living in a hell for the past three days. There is no water at our homes. Mobile phones have stopped working as we cannot charge the battery. Children are not being able to prepare for their first-term exams while elderly persons cannot sleep in the humid weather. We had no option but to show our anger on the road,” said Vikash Singh, a resident of Mango and BJP functionary.

Repeated attempts by Mango police to persuade the residents to withdraw the blockade failed as vehicles remained stranded on Mango bridge for hours. Several students had to walk across the bridge to reach their residences.

Finally, DSP (headquarter-I) Birender Yadav stepped in and convinced the residents to lift the blockade at 12.30pm.

“We relented after the senior police officer assured us that power would be restored by 1pm. He said that East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal had spoken to Jharkhand Urja Vikas Nigam Limited’s (JUVNL) Singhbhum division general manager” Singh said.

Empathising with the agitators, DSP Yadav said: “There was no power in our police stations for three days. We were sympathetic to the residents’ cause. Fortunately, power was restored within the time given by the electricity officials.”

JUVNL general manager A.P. Singh said that high current in Subernarekha hampered their attempts to connect the electricity lines that fell in the river. “Finally, the lines were connected this morning after which we could restore supply,” he added.


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