Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule has told the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (MSEDCL) officers to reduce distribution losses in Bhandup region or a face freeze on increments. The minister was reviewing the work and functioning of the Bhandup region of MSEDCL at his office on Thursday. Mumbai gets power from BEST, while suburbs, including Mira Bhayander, get electricity from Adani Power.
The eastern suburbs of Kanjur Marg, Bhandup and Mulund, Thane, Kalwa, Mumbra and Navi Mumbai get electricity from MSEDCL. The distribution losses in the Bhandup area are huge as slums in Kalwa, Mumbra and Thane steal power on a big scale. The chief engineer of Bhandup circle, Pushpa Chavan, said that the losses in Kalwa are 27 per cent and in Mumbra around 51 per cent. The outstanding dues in Mumbra alone stand at Rs 64 crore. Most of these are slum areas. “We have conducted huge campaigns, but nothing much has changed. We have registered 1,036 FIRs. When we disconnect electricity supply, the offenders take direct power from the main line, and we are left with no option other than registering FIRs,’’ she said.
The minister also said that services to consumers must be made online. Apart from Chavan, the meeting was attended by Konkan region director Shrikant Jaltare and executive director Chandrashekhar Yerme. The Bhandup circle has 24 lakh consumers and due to the Kalwa and Mumbra areas falling in the circle, the losses are as high as 10 per cent. Bawankule said that wherever the losses are 10 per cent, it should be reduced to five per cent and where the losses are five per cent, it must be brought down to three per cent. The minister also told the officials to supply power in areas where power has not reached.
Under the Deendayal Gram Deep Jyoti Yojana, a programme for electrification for poor, works worth Rs 120 crore have been completed and the balance works will be done by March. In Bhandup circle, 9.55 lakh of the 24 lakh consumers have MSEDCL app, and by March 31, there are plans to connect everyone to the app, the officials said. [Mumbai Mirror]