Diwali brings light to Panvel hamlets
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.