Power unlikely to be restored in over 800 Pune ZP schools by November 22
While schools are set to reopen after Diwali vacations, the electricity supply in more than 800 Pune zilla parishad (ZP) schools – that was disconnected by Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) over failure to pay bills on time – is unlikely to be restored by Monday. The Pune ZP plans to restore power supply in 15 days.
Pune ZP vice-president Ranjit Shivtare said that the process of paying the dues has begun and the administration has been asked to resolve the situation in 15 days. “It has only been two to three days since the issue was highlighted. We have asked the administration to resolve it within 15 days. In the upcoming week, we will again assess the situation. Our aim is to restore it in 15 days,” he said.
Out of the total 3,639 ZP schools in Pune district, more than 800 are currently without electricity over failure to pay bills on time. “ZP has taken the necessary steps so that power supply can be restored. The electricity bills are sent to the school addresses and not directly to the ZP. Schools were closed for a long time and hence, such a scenario must have arisen,” Shivtare said.
While schools are scheduled to reopen from November 22, Shivtare said that the disconnected power supply will not cause inconvenience to ZP schools as only 846 out of the total 3,639 ZP schools are set to open and some of them still have electricity supply. “Not all of the 846 schools have disconnected power supply. Once the academic session resumes, we will get a better idea. By coming Wednesday, we should have the bifurcation of schools with restored power supply and those which are still in the dark,” said Shivtare.
Pune ZP owes Rs2 crore and 28 lakh in electricity bills to MSEDCL. A senior official from MSEDCL Pune rural circle on the condition of anonymity said that not only private establishments but even public sector undertakings have failed to pay electricity bills on time. “We do not separately have the numbers of schools that have not paid bills. It just comes under public service establishments. For example, in the Baramati circle, which includes six tehsils, 34,224,000 are pending from public service establishments. Once the bills are paid, we restore the connections. The details of school numbers can only be given by the ZP,” the official said. ZP has already asked gram panchayats to pay the electricity bills from their funds.