Raipur, June 9: Monsoon would start in Chhattisgarh soon, but Bastar seems to be facing uncertain days with irregular water supply.
For Naxalite rebels, after tampering with the region’s power supply, have focused their attention on the water supply.
The supply collapsed completely in parts of Bastar where civic authorities were supplying water through pipelines, after rebels blew up a transmission tower creating complete blackout in the areas on Thursday morning and left authorities helpless and not being able to operate pumps.
South-west monsoon enters Chhattisgarh through Bastar. Usually, monsoon breaks in Bastar from June 10 and the region covered by dense forests never faces water scarcity.
“In areas where water is usually supplied through pipelines, we have arranged for tankers,” said a senior administration official talking to The Telegraph.
Though the situation is not so grim in the rural pockets, the villagers are faced with a power problem.
On Thursday morning, rebels blew up a power transmission tower near Barsoor in Dantewada district that had plunged 1,500 villages and four district headquarters namely in Dantewada, Bijapur, Narayanpur and Bastar into darkness. The worst-hit places are the hospitals.
The administration is arranging generator sets to restore power supply in the hospitals to offer some respite to patients recuperating. Efforts are on to get power from neighbouring states of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, but the path out is faced with technical and official problems.
The technical team of the Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board reached the tower amid heavy security and started repairs. Officials said normally it takes 10 days to re-erect a tower and restore supply, but at the rebel-hit area workers would try to complete all work at a war footing.
Country’s single largest iron ore producer and exporter — National Mineral Development Corporation — is set to incur heavy losses this fiscal, as production in its mining facilities located in Bailadila of Dantewada has come to a standstill.
Last year, the company accounted heavy losses as iron ore production remained disrupted for 11 days when Bastar was without power, following a rebel attack. Company officials said they were arranging generator sets to restore supply in the plant.