Power outage in West Bengal, many trains stranded (Lead)

July 31st, 2012 - 5:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, July 31 (IANS) There was no power in all of West Bengal, with the exception of some parts of the state capital, as the Eastern Grid collapsed suddenly Tuesday, leading to trains being stranded and essential services being hit.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ordered all government offices to declare a holiday for the rest of the day to enable the employees to go home.

Labelling it a “big disaster”, state Power Minister Manish Gupta said that apart from some parts of Kolkata, there was no power in any of the 18 districts of the state due to the sudden collapse of the Eastern Grid.

“It is a big disaster… We have started the repair work. But normalcy can’t be restored before tonight as repair work will take at least 10-12 hours,” Gupta said.

“The situation in those areas of Kolkata under power utility CESC is normal. But apart from those areas, all the districts will be severely affected. We have asked the CESC officials to see that at least these areas of Kolkata don’t face any power problem,” he added.

However, metro railway services were normal.

Train services over South Eastern Railway and Eastern railway came to a stop. Long distance and express trains were stranded at various stations with services coming to a halt in the vital Sealdah and Howrah divisions, a railway spokesperson said. Large number of passengers were left clueless at the important stations.

“Thousands of passengers are stranded as train services in the South-Eastern division have come to a standstill due to the power breakdown,” said South Eastern Railway Chief Public Relations Officer Soumitra Majumdar.

“Train services are severely hit. We hope normalcy will be restored as early as possible,” said Suchitto Kumar Das, divisional railway manager, Sealdah division.

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