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15
Jan 2017

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION MUST FOR HASSLE-FREE DISTRIBUTION OF POWER
1:13 pm UTC

Electricity is generated from coal and water across India as well as in Maharashtra. But these sources of energy are fast diminishing. The price of coal in Maharashtra is higher than in Chattisgarh, so power generation from coal is an expensive affair. Due to uncertain monsoon conditions, the hydropower projects too face challenges. When power generation itself becomes expensive, then the consumers are likely to get electricity at higher cost. In addition to this, the maintenance cost for basic infrastructure facilities is responsible for hiking power generation cost.

If we consider the situation in Pune district, as the number of consumers is rising, the basic infrastructure facilities also need to be improved. For electricity transmission and distribution, Maharashtra is only one such state that provides land at a nominal rate. The State government’s Infrastructural Development Plan Programme for Pune district is worth Rs 1,490 crore. Under this scheme, 54 power substations, 23 switching stations, 5,000 distribution transformers, 5,000 km long network of high and low tension electric cables are being laid. Under Union government’s Integrated Power Development Scheme, several developmental works will be carried out. For the future development of rural parts in the district, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana will play a significant role. Under this scheme, segregation of agriculture and nonagricultural electric cables will be done. The strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution will be carried out and a new electric mechanism will be created for rural areas.

Efficient infrastructure system and its maintenance
In Pune district’s urban area, there is 19.24 lakh consumers and in the rural area, there are 11.28 lakh consumers. If we consider growing urbanisation and increasing population, there is a need to increase basic infrastructural facilities. Equipment supply of electricity installed in public places is often in bad condition. Considering the future progress, the basic infrastructure facilities need to be efficient and secured. For this, smart planning and foresighted approach is needed. To achieve the welfare of citizens, government and non-government institutions need to work hand in hand. We notice a lack of coordination in the Municipal Corporation, Pune Cantonment Board, Mahavitaran and Industrial Development Authority. And due to this, several institutions and consumers suffer. In future, efforts are needed to solve problems of providing electricity.

Citizens’ expectations
Everything needs to be done through concerted efforts, is the expectation of the majority of people. Be it government or Mahavitaran, they are committed to providing good service. However, each citizen has to make his contribution. We notice that people often dump garbage near transformers and feeder pillars and that becomes the cause of many fire incidents. Citizens need to pay electricity bills on time.

Due to nonpayment of bills, electricity department faces a money crunch. Mahavitaran has to use its machinery to keep a tab on people involved in power theft and repeated defaulters involved in the nonpayment of bills.

If such instances are reduced, Mahavitaran can invest more time in carrying out development. No development is possible without active public participation. If we take a review of future development in the district, we have to say ‘Have little, need a little more.’

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