More power to tenants

Ambika Amar Sagavkar (40), a widow staying with her daughter and running a mess from her 300 sq ft tenement at Gajarewada near Deccan Gymkhana, has been struggling to get power from MSEDCL for the past 10 years. Her landlord is not willing to provide connection fearing that she would stake claim to the house in future as per tenancy rights. The case has been pending with the Pune civil court for four years.

To give these have-nots relief, Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited(MSEDCL) has come up with a new policy to restore connection. Henceforth, they have to pay only Rs 200 to get power.

Like Ambika, nearly 10,000 other tenants are locked in protracted legal battles with landlords, especially over occupancy of rooms at wadas and chawls in Peth areas where old tenants have been staying for generations without power and water. They are not getting NOCs (No Objection Certificates) from landlords, actually a pressure tactic to get them to leave. To help tenants, social activist Nilima Khade from Deccan Gymkhana got in touch with MSEDCL to thrash out the issue.

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