Long hours of power-cuts worsens the situation

Heat wave conditions in certain parts of West Bengal have set the temperatures soaring and registered the hottest April in a decade for the State — a condition made worse by the acute shortage of electricity and power-cuts for 9 hours in some areas on Sunday.

“The heat wave from Central India has spread into West Bengal with Bankura, Birbhum, Purulia Bardhaman and Paschim Medinipur districts reeling under its impact,” said G.C. Debnath, director of the weather section of the Regional Meteorological Centre.

The mercury hovering around the 40 degree mark is a deviation of four to five degrees from the normal temperature and the highest in the past 10 years in the second week of April, he added.

The lack of moisture (the humidity was recorded to be 21 per cent at noon on Saturday) has contributed to the heat wave conditions. Only a shower could bring temperatures down, but forecasts suggested that the hot and dry conditions would persist in the coming days, he added.

The oppressive heat was coupled with long hours of power-cuts because of shortfall in electricity.

With a demand of 3,950 MW across the State, there was a shortfall of about 400 MW in the evening, said Biswarup Mukherjee, a spokesperson for the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd. (WBSEDCL).

To meet the shortfall, power-cuts in five phases, totalling to nine hours, were imposed through the day, Mr. Mukherjee said.

Commenting on the power shortage, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said that in Maldah, “there has been a shortfall in power due to problems experienced in units at Kolaghat and Bakreshwar. But we will be able to get back on our feet. The problem of transformers burning down will also have to be prevented.”

More In: National | News