Tuesday, March 28

Cyclone Amphan: Left in dark, Kolkata residents master art of ‘jugaad’

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It’s been over a week since Cyclone Amphan left the city battered, but several homes in pockets of Kolkata are still powerless and have no clue when they can get back to normal lives again.

“For years we had stopped storing water. But now, we need to wake up early and queue up to fill up our buckets from the civic tap and then trudge back home,” said Kalpana Das, a resident Thakurpukur.

Similar has been the situation for a number of households in Sarsuna and New Garia Housing Cooperative society in Nayabad. “CESC officials had started repair works in our area, but they were forcefully whisked away by a group of men on bikes to work in the latter’s area. As a result, we are still in the dark even after a week,” said a local.

With hopes of power restoration diminishing, some families are resorting to jugaad or quick-fix solutions. “My house was without power for four days. I tried to buy an inverter, but there was none. So, I had my car’s battery connected to my home line,” said Ranjit Das, a resident of Arabindapally in Parnasree.

Thakurpukur Green Park resident Ashok Sen had to go for “legalized hooking” as a friendly neighbour powered their home with a temporary connection from his house. “Thanks to my neighbours, I can power up a bulb, a table-fan and the water pump. The entire family is now sleeping on the floor,” he said.

Some families, like that of schoolteacher Iva Saha of Thakurpukur, have started sleeping on terraces. They leave their homes to look for electricity and better phone connection. Some other frustrated individuals have totally shifted to other accommodations in the city. “For more than 110 hours we were left without power, after which my nephew took us to his home on Kalighat Road,” said Bibek Swaran Paul, 79.

(With inputs from Somdatta Basu and Sudipto Das)


Source: Times of India

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