The delta region in West Godavari district is gradually recovering from the bruises caused by Cyclone Helen. Over 400 villages in six mandals continue to reel under darkness since Friday early morning following disruption of power supply caused by the damage by the high-speed gales to the transmission lines.
According to official estimates, nearly 240 electric poles and power lines were subjected to heavy damage in these areas.
The Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (EPDCL) has sought the services of 250 workers from within and outside the district for restoration works. EPDCL Superintending Engineer T.V. Suryaprakasha Rao said restoration of power was expected to take place in 300 villages by Saturday night and the rest by Sunday evening. Vehicular traffic movement came to a grinding halt in the Chinchinada-Khaza section of the Kattipudi-Ongole National Highway (214) as the poclains were removing the uprooted electric poles.
Water supply hit
The disruption of power supply took a heavy toll on the drinking water systems in the fishermen habitations on the coast and the other areas. Collector Siddharth Jain said drinking water supply was restored in 35 habitations by engaging 20 generators. Fishermen were seen carrying water cans on two-wheelers from far-off places like Narsapur.
Most of them, who could not afford to procure water cans, had to manage their drinking water needs with the water sachets provided by the relief teams.
The drinking water problem has been more severe in a cluster of seven fishermen habitations which received piped water from a drinking water scheme at Tiruputalla. The inhabitants from these areas complained to a team of visiting CPI (M) fact-finding team, led by the party senior leaders R. Satyanarayana Raju, B. Balaram and Kurella Srinivas, that they were receiving muddy and contaminated water from the water scheme as its filter beds went out of order.
Relief teams at receiving end
The cyclone victims at Biyyaputippa directed their ire at the relief teams for their alleged failure to provide them with food and water. Relief was extended with food material procured from a relief camp at Vemuladeevi East 3 km away after the protest.
The CPI (M) workers highlighted their demand against crop holiday in the rabi by stopping the convoy of Social Welfare Minister Pitani Satyanarayana. Preliminary official estimates reveal that the paddy crop in 1 lakh ha was subjected to heavy damage during the cyclone.