Kolkata Municipal Corporation chief Firhad Hakim said on Sunday that the West Bengal government or the civic body cannot be held responsible for the continued disruption in power supply in several parts of Kolkata after Cyclone Amphan.
The chairman of the KMC board of administrators has been under fire from the Opposition for disruptions in power and water supply in several parts of Kolkata, Howrah and several neighbouring areas four days after Amphan hit the state.
Hakim said private power utility CESC Ltd itself clarified that they did not have the required staff to carry on restoration work.
"This is not the time to start blame game. CESC has informed Nabanna (state secretariat) today they have restored normalcy in at least 50 percent places and power will be restored in many more places by tomorrow," he said.
The minister said neither the state nor the KMC should be blamed for disruption in power services for a couple of days.
"Delay in resuming power services was not caused due to any delay by our team in clearing the roads. It was caused by CESC's depleted staff strength, which may be due to the present situation (COVID-19 lockdown)," Hakim said.
According to the minister, the removal of uprooted trees from roads was still going on as Amphan felled a huge number of trees on Wednesday. He said borough coordinators had been asked to monitor work in their respective areas.
Hakim came under attack from the BJP, CPI(M) and the Congress for past few days as irate residents took to streets in different parts of Kolkata to protest against non-resumption in power and water supply even after several hours.
The opposition parties alleged lack of contingency plans by the state government to cope with the disaster despite getting storm forecast five days before it hit the state.