Purulia, Nov. 5: A stretch of overhead electric cable was stolen a little after midnight yesterday, cutting off power supply to half of Purulia town, including the hospital and water pumping station, for over 13 hours.
The 550-bed Purulia Sadar Hospital, the district magistrate’s office and bungalow as well as the water pumping station at Teledih off Saheb Bund were without power since 1 am when about 1,200 metres of the power cable were stolen outside the Bongabari sub-station of the state electricity board.
Even the offices and residences of the sub-divisional officer and the superintendent of police were hit.
“Our personnel located the theft soon after it occurred,” said SEB divisional engineer Subroto Dasgupta. “A total of four spans of 11 KV high tension wire were missing,” he said. Each span is 300 metres in length.
“This is perhaps the first time in many years that power to the VIP areas were affected by the theft of cables,” said assistant engineer K.R Laha.
Though the hospital has generator back-up, surgeries and several diagnostic procedures could not take place this morning because of the power cut.
The municipal authorities could not operate the water pump, resulting in the drying up of filtered water supply to most households. Normal power supply resumed around 2.15 pm after repairs.
Following a complaint by the electricity board at the Mofussil police station, the police conducted a raid in the area. “We have been able to recover almost 75 per cent of the stolen wires,” said superintendent of police V.K. Goyal. No one could be arrested.