Indrani Dutta

KOLKATA: West Bengal Governor Devanand Konwar, who is holding additional charge, has decided to walk the way shown by his predecessor Gopalkrishna Gandhi by opting for the voluntary power shutdown programme at the Raj Bhavan initiated by Mr. Gandhi. He however pointed out that capacity-addition and not dexterity of load-shedding was the answer to the State’s power problems.

A Raj Bhavan press release issued on Monday said ; “If Raj Bhavan, Kolkata could help by a two-hour voluntary load shedding of power daily in the summer, it could definitely continue to do the same in winter also. Nothing substantial however turns on that as capacity addition only and not dexterity of load-shedding is the answer.

Mr. Konwar took up the additional charge on December 14 after Mr. Gandhi completed his term. He assumed charge as Bihar governor on June 29 after holding senior party posts. The State expects to get a new Governor by January.

Mr. Konwar has modified his predecessor’s schedule a little by shutting power off for an hour each in the morning and the afternoon. Mr. Gandhi, who launched the initiative on May 7, 2008 with an hour’s spell of voluntary cuts in the morning and the evening, had held the view that the Raj Bhavan “need not be an exception to the city’s electricity supply situation.”

Better situation

The city had then been suffering from sporadic power-cuts and the local authorities attributed the power cuts, largely to cable and transformer faults. The State government had maintained that the power situation in West Bengal was better than what it was in many other States.

However, even as the initiative evoked mixed reactions, running into a volley of criticism from the Left Front, Mr. Gandhi continued with it through his tenure.