Only 52 mandals opt for legal power connection

It’s the same old story all over again. The 10-day Ganeshotsav started six days ago, however, only 50-odd registered mandals, out of 1,400 in the city, have opted for authorized power connection from the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL), so far.

The state power utility had appealed to all the mandals to go for authorized power connections before the start of the festival. The MSEDCL had said that the mandals will be issued temporary power connections whose rates will be lower than the tariff charged for residential consumers.

Speaking to TOI, Prabhakar Nirmale, MSEDCL superintendent engineer (Aurangabad urban circle), said only 52 mandals have opted for authorized connections. “The rest went ahead with drawing power in traditional ‘illegal’ manner,” he said, adding that besides economically viable, legitimate connections ensure 100 per cent safety and reliability.

The MSEDCL had offered power connections to Ganesh mandals across the state at Rs 3.71 per unit (up to 100 units) plus fuel surcharge. It also required mandals to pay Rs 290 towards connecting charges while depositing Rs 2,000 for up to 1KV connection and Rs 1,000 for extra usage. The power utility had even set up special cell for the benefit of mandals for carrying out necessary formalities to apply for the temporary connections. Such facility was set up at the place where local police had established single-window system for giving clearances to Ganesh mandals.

Section 126 of the Electricity Act, 2003 deals with ‘Unauthorized Use of Energy’ (UUE). It has provision for charging equal to twice the tariff applicable for the relevant category if the MSEDCL authorities reach to the conclusion that unauthorized use of electricity has taken place.

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