As per reports on 7th April, it came to the fore that there was a massive power outage in 60 villages in the Trimbakeshwar Tehsil in Maharashtra’s Nashik district for around 8-10 days then. The villages are surrounded by dense hilly forests and the people were facing immense trouble without electricity for so many days at a stretch.
Talking to ANI, the Sarpanch of one of the villages called Belgaon Dhaga, Sanjay Gangode said that there was no electricity in 60 villages in the concerned region for the last 8-10 days. The villagers were facing a lot of problems and wild animals attacked the villagers in the dark at night. He had then requested the administration to restore the power supply.
Another villager from Belgaon Dhaga claimed that the power cut had ensued because of the District Council not paying the electricity bill. And as it was a forest area, the chances of wild animals attacking the villagers in the dark were high.
Therefore, it was observed that one of the major concerns which had arisen because of the lack of power supply was the wild animals like panthers coming into the area inhabited by the locals and then attacking or hurting them.
As reported by in24news on the 8th of April, it was being said that a bill of Rs. 5 lakh was due to be paid by one of the villages. And if the total amount to be paid by all the 60 villages was to be calculated, it could tantamount to a whopping sum of more than Rs. 30 crores! It was also reported that the authorities were to allocate autonomous funds to the Gram Panchayats but that turned out to be mere lip service.
On one of the nights when there was no electricity supply, a panther was seen entering the area of human habitation and eating up its prey in one of these villages. These visuals were caught on CCTV cameras.
Earlier in time, there have been other instances of power outage wherein the authorities were culpable but the common populace had to suffer. On 30th and 31st July 2012, during the UPA regime, northern and eastern India had had to face two consecutive days of grid failure. Some states had overdrawn power from the grid and broke discipline which in turn led to power plants tripping.
Nevertheless, some states even managed to get away with what they had done. States like Punjab and UP had outright denied overdrawing from the grid. But it was the fact of the matter that grid discipline was breached. Yet, it became easy for states to go scot-free because the grid officials (who come under the power ministry) did not look into the matter seriously. They did not penalize those who overdrew power and abused the system despite there being proper norms in place regarding the number of power states could draw from the grid.
The factor which provided this free run for the offenders is quite fathomable as well. The grid officials did not have the necessary political backing to penalize or take on the powerful state politicians or their officials. And the government at the centre could definitely not have taken action against the foul play as they had to reckon with the fact that they would require the state politicians’ support in the future to continue to garner their support to the UPA alliance. And albeit it was easy for the grid officials to penalize the offenders using their own powers which were legitimized by the law, it never happened because such essential posts were always held by the politicians’ cronies and stooges. After all, politicians have always backed and favoured their loyalists rather than ethical employees.
Come September 25th, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna- Saubhagya at Deendayal Urja Bhawan, New Delhi. The scheme was launched to provide energy access to all by last mile connectivity and electricity connections to all the then remaining un-electrified households in rural as well as urban areas to achieve universal electrification in the country.
Alas, it needs to be understood that schemes can be launched; funds for the same can be allocated but the local and grassroots authorities would have to make sure that those schemes are being implemented without a fail. And in the case of the Trimbakeshwar tehsil, the onus completely lies with the District Council because they were the ones who did not pay the power bills! No scheme or project can ensure facilities in such a bizarre case!
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#Nashik, #Maharashtra, #No Electricity, #Trimbakeshwar Tehsil, #Power Outage, #2012 Grid Failure