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Cyclone Yaas: Bengal power utilities better prepared than Amphan time

The two power utilities of West Bengal on Monday claimed that they are better prepared for Cyclone Yaas, which is likely to hit the state and Odisha on May 26, than they were before last year”s storm, Amphan.

The state-owned West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL) and private utility CESC Limited, which supplies power to Kolkata and adjoining areas including Howrah, said they aim to minimise inconvenience to consumers.

“This year we are better prepared than the time of Amphan. Then we had a shortage of manpower as many of them had gone to their hometown due to the lockdown during the first wave.

“But this year we have 2,500 people on the ground, which is more than double that we had last year,” CESC Vice President (Distribution) Avijit Ghosh said.

He said that it will keep restoration gangs at police station levels and ward levels across CESCs network. Some 20 per cent of the network of CESC is overhead, which is more prone to disruptions.

The number emergency facilities have gone up this year as Covid-19 vaccine cold chain centres and temporary Covid points have been set up, Ghosh said.

“We will try to ensure uninterrupted services,” he said.

The coordination with other agencies like the police and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation is better this time following the experience of Cyclone Amphan which had hit the state in June last year.

A WBSEDCL official said that priority will be given to the restoration of power lines to the medical establishments such as hospitals, safe homes, vaccine storage areas, drinking water lines, mobile towers and crematoriums.

Leaves of all employees have been suspended, and at least three gangs will be deployed at each block of the state under its distribution area, the official said.

Both CESC and WBSEB set up emergency call centres to receive complaints.

For CESC, the numbers are 3501-1912/4403- 1912/18605001912.

The dedicated numbers of WBSEBs round-the-clock control room are 8900793503 and 8900793504.

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