Elephanta island near Mumbai to get permanent power supply
Though located only 10 kms off Mumbai coast, the island has been powerless for decades with some use of solar power and generatorsUpdated: Feb 05, 2018 14:55 IST
Gharapuri or Elephanta island, which houses the famous Elephanta Caves, will finally get permanent power supply as the work to electrify the three villages in Gharapuri — Shetbander, Morabandar and Rajbandara — is almost over. The project is likely to be inaugurated this month by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Though located only 10 kms off Mumbai coast, the island, housing caves designated as UNESCO world heritage site, has been powerless for decades with some use of solar power and generators. Lighting up the island, officials said, will also give a boost to tourism as a sizable number of inland and foreign tourists travel to the island for a day trip from Gateway of India. While the project was to be completed in August last year, the officials faced hurdles when it came to getting clearances from the forest department.
An official from Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) said this is the first time they have laid cables under the sea. The work of laying the 22KV power supply network, 20-25 meters below the sea, was undertaken in February 2017. Power supply will be offered from MSEDCL’s Nhava-Sheva power sub-station.
Recently, Maharashtra energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule also visited the site with officials and asked them to submit a proposal for street lighting in the popular tourist destination. “We have completed a pilot test in the area successfully. Around 50-60 people from the villages have also filled forms to obtain new connections so the work of setting-up meter boxes is also on,” the official said.
The project has cost the state around Rs18.5 crore and is set to benefit 950 villagers who have been living without proper electricity since decades. The cables have been laid with assistance from companies from the UK and the US that can withstand choppy seas and underwater pressure.