To ensure uninterrupted power supply in the island city, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has cleared a lease rent of Rs. 6.46 crore to the Western Railway (WR) to complete the cable laying work near Mahalaxmi station flyover.
The undertaking is putting additional cable at the Mahalaxmi transmitter so that they can divert the power supply from one feeder to another in an emergency.
“Currently, we have only one feeder. In an emergency, the entire power supply in south Mumbai can be affected. Therefore, we are putting the additional cable line so we have an option,” said OP Gupta, general manager.
A few of the committee members opposed the payment as it could burden the undertaking, which is already facing financial losses.
“The BEST is laying cables for the public’s benefit. The railways are also a government body, so they should not charge us for carrying out the work,” said Ravi Raja Kondu, BEST committee member.
The Rs. 6.46 crore includes pending dues from 2001-09 and block charges from 2009-19 for 15 locations on WR.
“We were delaying this payment since 2009 as we didn’t have any repair work on railway premises. But, now we have to lay the cables and WR has denied us permission until we clear their dues,” said Gupta.
The BEST would have to pay Rs. 33crore to the Central Railway and WR for carrying out works in 77 different locations.