Vasai hamlet near Mumbai gets electricity first time in 70 years
While a resort located metres away from the hamlet has boasted of power for the past 15 years, the village received power only a few weeks ago.mumbai Updated: Dec 18, 2017 16:24 IST
Residents of Devkundi-Jambulpada hamlet in Vasai, Palghar district, four kilometres from the twin cities of Mira Road and Bhayander celebrated when their village was lit with electricity for the first time since independence.
While a resort located metres away from the hamlet has boasted of power for the past 15 years, the village received power only a few weeks ago, after Vasai-based social activist Sushant Patil took up the issue with Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in November 2016.
Patil is part of Bhumiputra Rozgar Haqq Sarakshan Samiti (a tribal welfare outfit of local unemployed youths).
“The chief minister immediately ordered energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule to look into the matter and provide electricity to the village. However, bureaucratic wrangles delayed the same, but we did not give up,” Patil said.
Power is being supplied to the village under the Deendayal Upadhaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (Rural Electrification scheme) of the central government.
“Bawankule asked for the village details and I readily provided the same,” Patil said.
On Bawankule’s instructions, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) visited and surveyed the hamlet and within a few days, they installed nine electricity poles.
“We have provided electricity under Pandit Deendayal Gram Jyoti Yojana (Rural Electrification scheme). We have also provided free electronic power meters, LED bulbs to each household coupled with free wiring, as per orders,” said a MSEDCL official from Vasai.
However, he refused to comment on the delay of providing power to the villagers.
Devkundi-Jambulpada is surrounded by thick forests and has a population of just 100 people, who are majorly katkaris (farm labourers) working in nearby paddy fields.
The villagers had been living in fear of leopard attacks as there was no power and students used the dim light of lanterns for their studies.
“Many villagers had migrated to Mira and Bhayander in search of livelihood as our village did not have any power. We will now try to bring them back since we have electricity,” Patil said.
The villagers were glad to see their homes lit with LED bulbs and also performed pujas in their homes.
“We have sent a letter of gratitude to MSEDCL for bringing power to the village 70 years after independence,” Patil said