Expressing her displeasure over the frequent power cuts affecting the day-to-day life in the twin hill stations, yesteryear actor and Lonavla-Khandala Citizens’ Forum (LKCF) chief Tanuja said it was the right of the locals to get good service when they were paying their bills on time.
“Why should we suffer if we are paying electricity bills on time. Despite pursuing the matter with the authorities, the problem persists. We are peace-loving people and don’t want to fight with anyone. We know that they are working, but our problem remains,” she said.
Residents claimed that the problem started 18 months ago, after a new Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (MSEDCL) substation was constructed at Nagargaon near Lonavla. LKCF Joint Secretary Tanu Mehta-Tiwari said the frequent powers cuts damages electrical appliances, cutting their life short.
Iergus Misquitta said, “Since the time the new substation became operational, power cuts became frequent. We experience power cuts for as many as seven times a day, completely disrupting our daily routine. At times there is no electricity for 24 hours.”
While the MSEDCL officials said the problem was the downpour and incidents of tree collapse during monsoon, they failed to explain the reasons for power cuts during summer and winter.
A senior official said, “Though we recently carried out the maintenance work, there is a possibility that we may have missed out on something. The newly built substation seems to be glitch-free. I have asked for a detailed report from the subdivision and the Lonavla office, which will help fix the problem at our earliest.”
Contradicting his senior’s claims, another official said the problem lied at the palm connector of the substation. “Nuts and bolts required to join the two plates of the connector are of inferior quality. They are supposed to be made stainless steel, so that they don’t rust early. In this case, rusty nuts and bolts are leading to frequent power cuts,” the official said.
Commenting on the use of inferior quality materials at the substation, Misquitta said, “We felt something was amiss because one of the engineers posted at the substation was transferred after we approached to the MSEDCL with our complaints. Despite following up the matter with the authorities, nothing has been done so far. Though we contacted MSEDCL’s complaint cell on numerous occasions, nobody answered our calls.”