Kolkata not impressed by West Bengal governor’s voluntary power cut

May 7th, 2008 - 5:04 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, May 7 (IANS) West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi’s decision to have daily two-hour-long voluntary power cuts at the Raj Bhavan Wednesday onwards has drawn mixed reactions from Kolkata residents. While some are appreciative, a majority feels its an attempt to garner popularity and publicity. Leena Sarkar, a schoolteacher, said: “The governor has always stood by us. Unlike other politicians, he truly feels and cares for us. I hope his initiatives won’t go waste.”

“It’s good to know that the governor wants to share the inconvenience we face due to frequent power cuts. But the way he is trying to protest is absurd. His voluntary power cut is not going to produce electricity for us,” Sheikh Hassan Ali, an engineer, told IANS.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Gandhi had said: “If all Kolkatans are suffering from frequent power cuts in this summer heat, why should the Raj Bhavan be an exception? Hence, I have decided to observe a two-hour voluntary power cut daily from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. from Wednesday onwards to empathise with my fellow citizens.”

“Gandhi’s initiative is futile. Does he want to prove that he is the true successor of Mahatma Gandhi by taking up similar ways of non-violent protest? Does he expect to pressurise the government by this?” asked neurosurgeon Prasenjit Chatterjee.

Montu Ghosh, a contract labourer, said: “Why only 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. of darkness? When there is a load shedding in our locality we have to suffer for hours. Two hours spent in the soothing atmosphere of the Raj Bhavan garden cannot be compared to our problems.”

Sources at Raj Bhavan said the governor has instructed the staff to turn off all lights, air-conditioners, fans and other electric devices as soon as the clock strikes seven.

“Since this power cut is going to be a daily affair, the staff has been instructed to stock up on candles and kerosene. Gandhi is planning not to use even the emergency lamps during the two hours of darkness,” a source said.

According to Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC) officials, the power line at Raj Bhavan is load-shedding proof and is capable of taking a load of 700 kilowatt compared to a two kilowatt load capacity of a two-bedroom flat.

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