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Government to light up 192 villages with 100 per cent power in Maharashtra
This April 14, BR Ambedkar's birth anniversary, will be an "illuminating" one for 192 Dalit-dominated villages in the state. From Saturday, these villages, which are spread over more than 20 districts, will be electrified 100%.
Most residents of these villages are economically backward, said an official. "We will ensure that every household gets a power supply. Though some houses in these villages had power supply, there were many which were still in the dark," said Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) managing director Sanjeev Kumar.
A resident of Lokhanda village in Buldhana district said that with 24-hour power supply in all houses, they will no more need kerosene to light lamps and hence, the inherent fire risk will also be eliminated.
For some villagers, especially in the agriculture hotbeds of Nagpur and Amravati, the news also assures a better crop. "We can use power for irrigation, crop processing and other activities," said a local.
"Camps will be held in the 192 Dalit-domniated villages on Saturday morning. Beneficiaries will be given immediate electricity connection," he added.
The villages include 34 in Akola, 25 in Amravati, 22 in Buldhana, 20 in Nanded, 15 in Washim, 13 in Yavatmal, eight in Gadchiroli, seven each in in Chandrapur and Solapur, five in Hingoli, four in Nagpur, three each in Ahmednagar and Beed and two in Wardha.
MSEDCL will also conduct camps across villages to renew permanently disconnected connections. "They will be given a chance to get a new connection after they pay arrears,'' an official said.
The village electrification project is being carried out under Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna and the Saubhagya scheme. "The objective is to achieve universal household electrification by providing last-mile connectivity and electricity connections to all houses in rural and urban areas," said a senior official. In February, Gharapuri island (Elephanta) was electrified for the first time after Independence. MSEDCL laid a 7.5km long cables on a seabed to supply power to the island.