Di­wali brings light to Pan­vel ham­lets

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HTFORNAVIM­UMBAI - Tas­neem Kausar ■ ht­for­nav­i­mum­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

Sixty-six years af­ter in­de­pen­dence, three tribal vil­lages in Shi­ravali di­vi­sion of Pan­vel re­cently re­ceived elec­tric­ity on Di­wali.

The elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of Karam­beli, Bhaly­achi wadi and Yar­mal vil­lages was in­au­gu­rated by Ra­jen­dra Gavit, min­is­ter of state for tribal wel­fare. The project to bring elec­tric­ity to the vil­lages was spear­headed by Pan­vel MLA Prashant Thakur.

Iron­i­cally, al­though Pan­vel city has been on the path to rapid de­vel­op­ment thanks to a num­ber of in­fra­struc­ture projects im­ple­mented by City and In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion, the tribal ar­eas are de­prived.

Lo­cated in far-flung ar­eas sur­rounded by jun­gles that fall un­der the ju­ris­dic­tion of for­est depart­ment, the tribal vil­lages are de­prived of ba­sic ameni­ties in­clud­ing roads, elec­tric­ity and wa­ter sup­ply.

De­spite the for­est depart­ment hav­ing granted per­mis­sion to large projects in sur­round­ing ar­eas, it has re­fused to carry out elec­tri­fi­ca­tion and other de­vel­op­ment works in the tribal vil­lages that fall un­der its ju­ris­dic­tion.

It was fol­low­ing this that Thakur took up the mat­ter with Gavit and for­est min­is­ter Patang Rao Kadam. The Raigad Dis­trict Tribal Wel­fare Coun­cil has also taken up ini­tia­tive to en­sure power sup­ply to the vil­lages.

Thakur said power sup­ply to the tribal ar­eas was be­ing put off be­cause of the for­est depart­ment’s de­lay in al­low­ing Ma­ha­rash­tra State Elec­tric­ity Dis­tri­bu­tion Com­pany to erect elec­tric poles and sup­ply lines.

“I am happy I could make a dif­fer­ence to the lives of the trib­als,” said Thakur.

The cost of pro­vid­ing the three vil­lages with a pop­u­la­tion of 350 peo­ple elec­tric­ity is Rs96 lakh and the amount has been sanc­tioned by the dis­trict plan­ning com­mit­tee.

“MSEDCL has used the fund to put up 128 high­t­en­sion and 136 low-ten­sion sup­ply lines and three 6.3 KV trans­form­ers,” said Dilip Mha­tre, MSEDCL’s ex­ec­u­tive engi­neer.

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