Two days for power, 7 for clearing streets: Kolkata civic body – Times of India

Kolkata News

Firhad Hakim interacts with residents

KOLKATA: It will take another seven days for Kolkata to stand on its feet. Firhad Hakim, the chairman of the board of administrators governing KMC, on Friday appealed to Kolkatans to bear with the civic body and other state agencies working round the clock to restore normalcy.
Hakim on Friday conceded that residents of large parts of the city were suffering due to power cut and water crisis. According to him, lack of coordination between KMC and the power utility was the root cause for difficulties being faced by lakhs. “Restoration of power is of utmost importance as it is triggering water crisis. I have taken up the matter with CESC and West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Ltd (WBSEDL) officials, asking them to restore power in all areas in another two days,” Hakim said.
According to a KMC official, while CESC officials expressed their helplessness in restoring power due to non-removal of uprooted trees, a section of civic officials felt that the power utility agency was not in tandem with KMC. “I have asked the KMC parks department and civil engineering department to barricade areas where big trees are lying uprooted so that even if the tree is not removed, CESC and WBSEDCL can work to restore the lines,” Hakim said.
Removal of uprooted trees continues to be the big challenge for KMC, Kolkata Police and other agencies, conceded a civic official. Not more than 20% of the trees have been removed in past 48 hours. “Acute dearth of manpower, which is triggered by the lockdown, and shortage of tools have made the job difficult. We have roped in conservancy labourers, Kolkata Police and also requested NDRF to clear major thoroughfares in seven days,” said a KMC parks department official.
Apart from restoration of power, restoration of cable lines was also on the top of civic agenda. Hakim on Friday held a meeting with the cable operators and asked them to restore the lines at the earliest. Hakim has asked police and the KMC parks department to cooperate with the cable operators.
Amidst the clean-up challenge, Khalil Ahmed, who was holding the dual charge of state urban development secretary and KMC commissioner, was relieved of his duties as the commissioner on Friday. Binod Kumar, a secretary in the state minority affairs department, has replaced Ahmed.