West Bengal asks for Army's help to restore essential services hit by cyclone 'Amphan'
Kolkata | Agencies: The West Bengal government on Saturday requested Army support for "immediate restoration" of essential infrastructure and services devastated by the cyclone Amphan and urged private entities to provide manpower and equipment for the purpose.
In a series of tweets, the Home Department said that the state government has mobilised maximum strength in a unified command mode for immediate restoration of essential infrastructure and services.
"Army support has been called for; NDRF and SDRF teams deployed; Rlys, Port & private sector too requested to supply teams and equipment (sic)," it tweeted.
It said that drinking water and drainage infrastructure is getting restored fast and the Public Health Engineering Department has been asked to supply water pouches in areas where there is a crisis.
"Generators being hired where necessary. More than a hundred teams from multiple departments and bodies working for cutting of fallen trees which is the key to restoration of power in localities," the Home Department said.
"WBSEDCL & CESC asked to deploy maximal manpower, even while lockdown significantly affects the deployment potential of the latter. Police on high alert," the it added.
The announcement came after protests in several parts of Kolkata and neighbouring districts over power and water crisis even three days after cyclone 'Amphan' hit the state.
From Behala in the south to Belgharia in the north, armed with placards, people blocked roads with empty buckets and utensils.
Protests were also reported from Sapuipara and Pallishree areas in Jadavpur, Garfa, besides Narkeldanga and Telangabagan.
The protesters, many of whom were women, said they are under extreme hardship as there was no electricity and water for the past three days and repeated calls to power utilities CESC and WBSEDCL went unanswered.
They said that due to the power cut they cannot pumpwater from the supply lines to the tanks of their respective houses, leading to a dire situation amid the rising mercury.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has urged people to have patience as the administration was working tirelessly to restore normalcy.
Cyclone 'Amphan' has claimed 86 lives in the state and caused havoc in at least 14 districts, mainly in South 24 Parganas, Kolkata, North 24 Parganas and East Midnapore.
(With PTI inputs)
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma