Regular-article-logo Friday, 09 June 2023

Job unfinished, ‘fatigued’ linesmen detained

Ordeal for CESC team lasts four hours

Subhankar Chowdhury Calcutta Published 30.05.20, 10:59 PM
Wires and a ladder of CESC linesmen in a community hall in Regent Estate, where the team was detained on Saturday

Wires and a ladder of CESC linesmen in a community hall in Regent Estate, where the team was detained on Saturday Telegraph picture

CESC linesmen working at Regent Estate to make permanent arrangements for power supply were detained in a hall for four hours on Saturday when some employees of the utility told the team to leave for another locality.

Residents of Regent Estate, in Jadavpur, were waiting for a permanent connection because elevators, water pumps and air conditioners are not functioning with the temporary connection.


Regent Estate has over 3,500 residents and temporary connection was restored in the area last Tuesday. The power connection had been disrupted after Cyclone Amphan hit the city on May 20.

Over the past two days, a CESC team of 10 men were working to restore permanent supply, said Sudip Deb Chowdhury, the former president of the residents’ association. The linesmen were brought from the CESC service station next to the KPC Medical College and Hospital in Jadavpur on May 23.

“We are hiring generators at high rates to pump water to overhead reservoirs,” said Chowdhury.

Another resident said the linesmen promised that permanent connection would be restored by Monday.

A CESC official said they decided to withdraw the linesmen because they were exhausted. “We had initially decided to deploy these men to Budge Budge in South 24-Parganas. But they were so tired that we allowed them to go home. We decided to send a replacement team to Regent Estate,” the official said.

“The replacement team reached Regent Estate around 8pm,” another official of the company said.

Problem started when employees of CESC’s Jadavpur office went to Regent Estate around 9am and told the linesmen to head for Budge Budge. As the linesmen were about to leave, residents intervened.

The technicians, along with their gear, were taken to a community hall and detained inside. They were allowed to leave at 1.30pm, but without their gear, after a CESC official promised the residents that a replacement team would be sent by Saturday night.

“I told the residents it was fine that they had kept power cables and a ladder. The new team would need them,” the official said.

Detaining linesmen till restoration of supply was a common sight in adjoining neighbourhoods such as Netajinagar and Surya Nagar in the aftermath of Amphan.

Metro had on Wednesday reported about the perils of temporary connection. Some neighbourhoods where power supply had been restored temporarily on Monday again plunged into darkness the next day.

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