Maharashtra energy minister promises continuous power during Rabi season

Mumbai: Maharashtra Energy Minister Dr Nitin Raut on Tuesday assured an uninterrupted power supply to agriculture in the rabi season, despite the state power sector is passing through a severe financial stress due to the coronavirus lockdown. Raut directed the state-run power distribution company MahaVitaran to put in place additional transformers for uninterrupted power supply to agriculture pumps during the rabi season. He said adequate supply of oil and other materials will be made in all the districts as per the demand.

The minister today reviewed the effect of extending rain and floods on power supply in various districts. He directed MahaVitaran for an early restoration.

The pandemic has adversely affected the state power sector. The recovery of electricity bills by the MahaVitaran is very low. On the one hand, there are declining revenues while on the other the Nisargacyclone, unseasonal torrential rains and the recent rains have hit the power sector hard. The recent heavy rains in nine districts have hit the power system hard. The worst affected district is Solapur. Due to heavy rains, power supply is not available in six villages in Solapur district at present.

Also, seven substations are shut due to waterlogging. However, power supply to domestic, commercial and industrial customers has been restored in all the remaining places. Power supply to agriculture pumps in flood ravaged areas will be restored in phases. “Despite these odds, the MahaVitaran provides smooth and quality power supply to consumers,’’ said Dr Raut. He has directed the MahaVitaran to take immediate steps for repairs of the damaged distribution network and device a mechanism whereby such incidents can be avoided in future. He also said that the necessary funds or materials for the repair of power plants in case of heavy rains are being provided immediately.

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