While severely damaged drinking water and electricity supply systems in some parts of Cyclone Amphan-hit Kolkata have been restored, people are protesting in some places due to non-availability of necessary services. In Selimpur, southern Kolkata, residents aged over 70 have to carry drinking water from a tap at a distance and climb up three or four floors into their houses. The power supply snapped six days ago in the area since Amphan hit Bengal, devastating cities and villages of at least six districts.
However, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) said work to restore the system was going on and it was expected that the fallen trees would be removed from the roads tonight or by Wednesday morning. A senior KMC worker said, “Our work is almost over. The CESC is working to restore power.” He assured us that power supply to the rest of the area would be restored by tomorrow morning.
On 20 May, millions of people were rendered homeless in six districts of Bengal, including state capital Kolkata. The lowlands were flooded and thousands of trees were uprooted. The KMC may claim credit for the restoration job, but the public is applauding the Indian Army for clearing the roads in just a day.
Troops were deployed in Kolkata and surrounding districts on Saturday to restore the necessary infrastructure and services in the state following a request for help from the union government by the Mamata Banerjee dispensation in West Bengal.
People protested in several areas of Kolkata on 26 May. Protesters in Garia and Behala blocked the road, stopping the movement of vehicles. A resident of Garia said, “Six days have passed since Cyclone Amphan, but the electricity service has not been restored in our area. We do not know when the service will be restored.”
People complained that the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC) was not able to restore power services and no company official came to the area to survey the situation. A resident said, “We have contacted the local administration and the local police station and made them aware of our problem. However, no help was received from anywhere.”
The people of Behala are protesting against the increase in the price of drinking water amid the rising heat of the month of May.
In Sheoraphuli in Hooghly district, Indian National Congress leader Abdul Mannan protested against the CESC’s failure to restore power supply.
Mobile and internet services have not yet been restored in many parts of the South and North Twenty-four Parganas and East Midnapore districts.