Residents in Puri took to the streets on Tuesday to demand the restoration of power supply, which remains affected even 11 days after the landfall of Cyclone Fani in coastal Odisha. Power is yet to be restored in 18,168 villages and 52 urban local bodies in Odisha, PTI reported.
“We have restored power in most places except Puri district,” Information and Public Relations Secretary Sanjay Singh told reporters. “Restoration of power in Puri is a big challenge. The state government is taking all out efforts to restore the power supply to all consumers.”
Singh said electricity has been provided to 73% of the consumers in Cuttack and 70% in Khurda. “At least 524 teams have been engaged to give power supply to 29,01,171 consumers of severely damaged Puri district,” he said. “The first phase of power restoration in Puri town will commence from Wednesday.”
Singh said there was large-scale damage to the infrastructure in Puri, Odisha TV reported. PK Sahoo, a senior engineer at Central Electricity and Supply Utility, said, “Almost 4,000 people are working day and night. We will try our best to restore electricity within eight to 10 days. We are working in Puri on priority basis and will try to restore power in Badadanda [locality] by tomorrow [May 15].”
Singh said 75 towers of 220 kilovolts and 25 towers of 132 kilovolts were damaged by the cyclone in Puri. “As some of the broken towers are located in waterlogged areas, it required more time for restoration,” Singh said.
The Power Grid Corporation of India has been asked to rebuild the 220-kilovolt towers in the district, unidentified officials told PTI.
An 11-member inter-ministerial central team continued its damage assessment for the second consecutive day in Khurda, Puri and Cuttack districts.
Telecom company Bharti Airtel said that its teams have worked on war footing to restore 90% of the network connectivity. Overall, telecom firms have restored only about 42% of the network in Puri district.
As many as 39 of the 64 people who were killed during the storm were from Puri. On Sunday, several residents protested at many places, including state capital Bhubaneswar, to demand that the authorities address their problems quickly.