The Public-Private partnership has once again come to the rescue of two neighbouring cities with both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad have been once again spared from the power cuts.
While the Maharashtra state electricity distribution company's (Mahadiscom) decision to ask industries from the state to remain shut for two days a week in stead of one will have an adverse impact on production, industries and residences from Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad will no longer have to suffer from power cuts.
Retaining the year old adjustment of providing electricity to residential and industrial units in Pune, the Pune chapter of Confederaton of Indian Industries (CII) has this year also joined hands with Maharashtra state electricity distribution company to mitigate the day by day worsening power problem here. As a result, Pune and neighboring Pimpri-Chinchwad will be automatically be exempted from additional 'staggered holiday' (Off due to no power).
Rameshsinh Gautam, chief engineer, Mahadiscom (Pune Circle) said that "Mahadiscom, after its Sunday's decision, has immediately implemented the power cuts for two days in industrial areas in the district. Besides Thursday, which is usual no-power day in the district, Wednesday too will be staggered day for the factories operating in the Pune district".
Gautam said that "Around 100 mw of captive power will be given to the city once more than 40 industries starts generating power as per the CII's understanding with the Mahadiscom". Last year too, people of Pune were exempted from the power cuts after the similar arrangement with CII was chalked out. However as against the extra power, which people of Pune is getting, a surcharge of 45 paise per unit above 300 units of consumption has been imposed.
CII representative Pradeep Bhargav told Hindustan Times that "talks have been going on with state electricity distribution company and soon they will be able to cope with power shortage in the city". Last year of the nine lakh consumers in Pune Circle, got an uninterrupted power supply.
However amidst cheers among Puneites, there is word of caution from the industry representatives. Maratha Chamber of Commerce and Industry Association (MCCIA), Energy committee chairman Jayant Dev expressed reservations over small industries staying in the state in view of unprecedented power crisis. "The government has in fact talked of five year plan to restore the normal situation in power sector. But what will happen till then if industries decied to shut their plants here and take away elsewhere"?, he questioned.
The latest decision of state electricity distribution company, however will severely hit the small and large scale industries from Pirangut, Talegaon, Chakan, Lonavala, Ranjangao. These are the industrial areas where state government has already sanctioned Special Economic Zones (SEZs).