Blackout in Bastar as naxals demolish power pylon

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Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh, June 5 (UNI) Life was paralysed and train movement affected today after more than 3,000 villages in four key districts of tribal-dominated Bastar division were plunged in darkness due to demolition of a power pylon last night Naxaks, A Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board (CSEB) team was battling the situation under heavy security cover but senior officials were not in a position to say when the power supply would be restored in Bijapur, Bastar, Narayanpur and Dantewada districts. Extraction too came to a standstill in the National Mineral Development Corporation's Bailadila Iron Ore Mine.

Railway sources said goods trains were not plying on the Bailadila-Visakhapatnam route.

''A helicopter survey revealed that Pylon 717 -- in a forest near Bodli 12 km from Narayanpur district's Barsud Sub-Station -- was demolished. A new tower is being brought from Bhilai. Power officials will have to cover about 10 km on foot to reach the spot,'' CSEB's Bastar Division Chief Engineer G R Sahu told UNI.

Bastar's Divisional Commissioner G S Mishra said that generators had been requisitioned for ensuring potable water supply and health services. Arrangements have been made for supply to this town from a 132-KV power station in Kanker district but more power is required.

In a statement issued at Raipur, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh condemned the naxal action.

Last year, a similar attack by rebels affected power supply for months together in Bastar.

UNI Team-AC PDT ND2122

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