Amid the rising arrears and paucity of funds by the state power distribution company MahaVitaran, Maharashtra energy minister Nitin Raut has dashed out a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, seeking an urgent release of funds to tide over the situation.
Raut has warned that if MahaVitaran continues to operate without funds then it won’t be able to draw power, which in turn will lead to power outage in Maharashtra. A copy of this letter is with The Free Press Journal.
Raut also urged Thackeray to act fast and not to neglect his demand as the energy department is held by the Congress which is a junior partner sharing power with the Sena and NCP in the MVA government. “MahaVitaran’s arrears were Rs 14,154 crore in 2014, which rose to Rs 59,149 crore in October 2020 after the BJP rule. After the MVA government took over, the dues have surged to Rs 63,263 crore from Rs 59,149 crore. Now, the state distribution company is struggling to recover the dues,” he stated.
He has urged the CM to direct the rural development department held by the NCP and urban development department by the Sena to clear the dues of over Rs 8,000 crore towards public water supply and streetlights to MahaVitaran. This will provide partial relief. “The arrears towards power supply to streetlights has shot up to Rs 6,299 crore in 2021-22 from Rs 1,417 crore in 2014-15 and for public water supply to Rs 2,514 crore from Rs 1,141 crore, during the same period,” he said.
Raut demanded that the state must make additional budgetary allocations to provide subsidy given by MahaVitaran to the agriculture and powerloom sectors as it will reduce the burden on industry.
“Unless the state provides more funds, the Centre has clearly said that it won’t be able to provide grants under the new scheme to revive the distribution sector,” he said.