A fire at an 11KV distribution centre of CESC on Friday evening caused a power outage in phases across several parts of the city’s southern and eastern fringes.
The blackout, that made the ongoing lockdown worse, started around 5.40pm. Till 9pm, several houses in Patuli, Garia and Santoshpur were still without power.
The utility said a spark was spotted in an underground cable around 5.30pm. “Thick smoke followed the spark. Firefighters sprang to action and the fire was controlled by 7pm. As a safety protocol, the feed from the entire station was stopped during the operation,” said a senior official of CESC, who was at the spot.
The receiving station near Baghajatin railway station, where the fire occurred, supplies power to “parts of Patuli, Santoshpur and Garia”. There are multiple hospitals in the vicinity.
“The power supply snapped around 5.30pm and we turned to our generators. There has not been any problem. But the CESC supply is yet to be restored,” an official of Peerless Hospital said around 9.30pm.
An official of AMRI Hospitals in Mukundapur said “there was no problem”.
The blackout came in the middle of a lockdown, prompting PWD minister Aroop Biswas to visit the spot along with mayoral council member (solid waste management) Debabrata Majumdar.
Thousands of households, including standalone apartments and housing complexes off the EM Bypass, were left without power on Friday evening.
Arundhati Maitra, who lives opposite Metro Cash and Carry, spent more than two hours in candlelight with her husband and daughter.
“The lights went off around 5.40pm. We couldn’t even open the windows because of the mosquitoes, which are a menace in our area. The house became a furnace,” she said. Power supply was restored around 8pm.
“The supply was restored in phases from 7pm. By 9pm, most areas had their supplies restored,” the CESC official said.
Six tenders were sent to control the fire. The deserted roads helped in prompt response, said fire service officers. “The challenge was to contain the fire without damaging the apparatus because water is a carrier of electricity,” he said.
The firefighters had to smash a glass wall with stones to spray water on the flames.
Adrita Sircar, who lives in Panchasayar, said power supply to her apartment snapped around 6pm. “It was very hot. We went down and so did many others but people were wary of coming too close to each other,” she said. Power supply to her home was also restored a little before 8.30pm.