400 calls: Police helpline flooded after storm wreaks havoc in Delhi-NCR | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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400 calls: Police helpline flooded after storm wreaks havoc in Delhi-NCR

By, New Delhi
May 12, 2024 05:23 AM IST

Police received 152 calls related to uprooting of trees, 55 calls regarding building damage and 202 calls related to power disruption.

A major dust storm swept through Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) on Friday night leaving a trail of destruction — uprooting several trees, blocking roads and damaging buildings — and also leading to power outage for several hours. The Delhi Police received more than 400 calls throughout the night, starting from around 10pm, related to disturbances caused by the thunderstorm, officials aware of the matter said on Saturday.

Trees fell after a massive dust storm hit yesterday night at Sardar Patel Marg in New Delhi on Saturday. (HT PHOTO.)
Trees fell after a massive dust storm hit yesterday night at Sardar Patel Marg in New Delhi on Saturday. (HT PHOTO.)

Police received 152 calls related to uprooting of trees, 55 calls regarding building damage and 202 calls related to power disruption. Several minor accidents were also reported. To remove trees from the streets, civic body personnel were engaged across the city till late on Saturday, they added.

According to officials from the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), 30 large trees fell in the NDMC area, including Sarojini Nagar, Chanakyapuri, Gole Market, Kidwai Nagar, SP Marg, Moti Bagh, Khan Market and also near the police headquarters, Supreme Court and RML hospital.

NDMC officials said that the thunderstorm could have caused more damage, but the department took several steps, including extensive pruning and tree ambulance, in the last two years, which diminished the extent of destruction.

“In May 2022, there was a huge thunderstorm in the NDMC area that uprooted caused over 100 large trees to fall, and another 1,058 branches broke, causing much damage. Since then, we have taken extensive steps to ensure regular pruning of heavy branches and treatment of trees where stems have started rotting. We take scientific steps to ensure that there is not much damage during squalls and storms. Most of the trees in NDMC area are over 100 years old and steps have been taken keeping that in mind,” said an NDMC official.

In areas under the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), 16 trees were reported to be broken and blocking roads in Green Park, Tilak Nagar, Rohini, Hari Nagar, Mayur Vihar, Paschim Vihar, Navjivan Vihar and Chhatarpur.

Power outage was the major concern reported by residents across several parts of Delhi. In several areas, including Rohini, Rajinder Nagar and Pitampura, people complained that there was no electricity supply for over 12 hours.

“We had no power for over 12 hours in Rohini Sector 15. The helpline number was not working and we got no response on the situation despite trying to contact the discom several times,” said Rahul Dev, a resident from Rohini.

However, a Tata Power DDL spokesperson said, “The storm inflicted damage to the electrical network affecting the power supply in Rohini, Bawana industrial area and JJ Colony, villages like Poothkhurd, Sultanpur, Jaunti, Tatesar, Qutubgarh and major agriculture areas...

Despite the challenges, extra resources in terms of manpower, vehicles, motorised tools, cranes, tower wagon were deputed and power was restored in majority of the residential areas within five hours.”

Another resident of Vasant Kunj, Manish Tripathi, said that the situation was also bad in parts of south Delhi. “The Delhi government claims of providing world-class facilities, but imagine not having power supply for nearly 15 hours in areas like south Delhi. Just one storm, people have to stay without power and water supply for such a long time in the national capital.”

Meanwhile, discoms said that all efforts were made to ensure that electricity supply was restored at the earliest.

“Last evening, Thunderstorms led to instances of power disruptions in some areas of the city, primarily on account of tree branches falling on overhead electricity lines and network. BSES operations and maintenance teams were on high alert and Quick Response Teams (QRTs) were pressed into service. In most cases, power supply was restored quickly. It took a little longer than usual for restoring electricity in some areas as cutting and removal of trees is a time-taking process that are undertaken by other civic agencies,” said a spokesperson from BSES Delhi.

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