Fleet of 12 quench thirst of 10 lakh

Tankers rolled out on a rescue mission in a city under water siege for 48 hours, as power supply was restored to JSEB serviced areas in phases from late on Friday morning.

Neighbourhoods like Mango, Sonari and Kadma were back on the grid by 11.30am, while Jugsalai, Bagbera, Birsanagar, Baridih and Karandih had their power supply restored between 12.15pm and 1pm. Far-flung areas like Gamharia in Seraikela-Kharsawan, Potka and Patamda blocks and Ghatshila subdivision in East Singhbhum received power between 1pm and 2pm.

The impact of the prolonged strike by JSEB employees, however, lasted till 3.30pm, only after which water woes eased.

Acting on the Thursday late evening directive of East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Himani Pande, Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC), Mango Notified Area Committee (MNAC) and Jugsalai Municipality pressed into service a dozen water tankers to help people tide over the crisis. All the tankers were filled from water towers of Jusco in Northern Town, Bistupur.

The JNAC alone catered to 600,000 residents in non-Jusco command areas with its four tankers. Special officer R.N. Dwivedi said two were of 12,000-litre individual capacity and two carried 5,000 litres each. "We continued supply to residential areas. By 3.30pm, the crowd of people flocking our tankers thinned. We will, however, continue supply till evening, as has been directed by the district administration," he added.

Rakesh Bhullar, a resident of Uliyan in Kadma that is under JNAC jurisdiction, confirmed that the tankers had buffered the crisis. "I had not taken a bath since Thursday. Fortunately, it is winter. For drinking and cooking purpose, we purchased bottled water from the market last night and today morning. Around noon, the tankers reached Kadma. Ah, it was such a relief!" he said.

Special officer of MNAC Neeraj Srivastava said they rolled our a fleet of five water tankers ' two of them hired from Jugsalai ' to serve densely populated (3 lakh and more residents) and congested neighbourhoods.

"The three tankers at our disposal were of 5,000-litre and 2,000-litre (two of them) capacities. The ones we hired from Jugsalai carried 1,200 litres each," he said, echoing Dwivedi that the situation returned to normal at around 3.30pm.

Jugsalai Municipality, on the other hand, used two of its tankers (each of 1,200 litres) and was aided by another tanker from Jusco to cater to a populace of nearly 100,000.

Households on the city's outskirts, having deep-bore wells, did not face any problem after the power supply was restored.

Superintendent engineer of JSEB's Singhbhum Supply Area (SSA) A.P. Singh said power supply was restored to all the 22 substations in East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan by afternoon.

SSA general manager Om Prakash Ambastha said workers reported for duty by 11am, facilitating the resumption.