Bhubaneswar: Despite being a part and parcel of the Golden Triangle in the global tourism map and also being India’s numero uno smart city, the usually glittering capital city of Odisha has lost its sheen as well as lacking lustre in the aftermath of extremely severe cyclonic storm FANI.
Just like a victorious invader boasts of ‘vini, vidi & vici’ (I came, I saw and I conquered), catastrophic Cyclone FANI too ‘came, saw and conquered’ this erstwhile Kalinga. It has not only left behind a trail of destructions in this historic Temple City, but has also divested it of its glitter as the denizens are now groping in dark, unable to quench their thirst for a normal life and striving hard to beat the prevailing heat.
The untold miseries being encountered since May 3 are the outcome of the curse and chaos unleashed by the monstrous disaster. It has ripped apart the power supply system that has now become our lifeblood and pivotal part of our modern life style.
This smart city these days used to glitter and twinkle after the sunset. But, FANI has literally poked fun at it soon after the din and bustle of the recent electioneering met its climax recently.
Power restoration work is on in a war-footing. Notwithstanding that, the massive destruction caused finds no way out for respite.
Even though power supply in the posh areas like AG Square, Capital Hospital, Forest Park has been restored, it is a measly 10-15% as has been admitted by the State Administration. The State Chief Secretary has already confessed that power restoration will take time for which no timeline can be specified.
Under such a piquant situation, OMMCOM NEWS camera team tried to capture the trials and tribulations of the general public here.
An old woman of a slum rued, “Our children are suffering like anything. We are bound down to sleep outside at night and being easy prey to the bites of mosquitoes and flies. My children are ailing. We are undergoing untold miseries. Sizzling summer in the daytime is adding to our woes.”
“There is water supply but it’s insufficient. We are bathing in an interval of four-five days,” she added.
Another slum-dweller reacted, “First of all, water scarcity and secondly, non-availability of candle. If at all it is available in the market, we have to cough up high price. You know well about the high rate of ‘binchana’ (hand fan), one has to fork out Rs 80-Rs 100 for getting one. We’re suffering a lot while cooking. Water supply is very abnormal.”
Same was the reaction of yet another slum-dweller, “Reeling under immense trouble, neither comfortable at home nor outside. Lack of electricity and water supply has left us in the lurch. If power supply is restored, 90% of our sufferings will get assuaged. Normal supply of electricity and water will do a lot, rest of the troubles manageable. This cyclone has inflicted the highest amount of sufferings in comparison to the Super Cyclone of 1999.”
A housewife lamented, “Our house has got damaged in this cyclone. We are suffering a lot and unable to live a normal life. As there isn’t power supply, we are deprived of sound sleep in this summer season. When drinking-water has turned to be a piquant pinch, needless to mention about bathing.
Another young woman rued, “Our children are sleeping outside. We are cooking daytime and it is being used both as lunch and dinner. Sufferings have gone beyond limit.”
A girl student of the slum also rued, “We’re suffering a lot in this summer due to power disruption, studies hampering and there is erratic supply of water.”
A little boy outpoured, “I’m in great trouble. There is no line (power supply) for preparing my studies. Lighting oil lamp and doing our studies. We are subject to lots of pains.”