Akola: Residents of Navi Talai, a tribal village in Akola district of Maharashtra, erupted in joy when they got electricity in their homes for the first time two days ago.
Earlier residing in core area of the Melghat Tiger Project in Amravati district, they were shifted and rehabilitated by authorities in Navi Talai in 2018. However, the village under Telhara taluka, which has a population of around 540, was without electricity connection since then, forcing people to live in darkness.
This changed on July 22 when Navi Talai finally got electricity for the first time.
A Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) official said it was the state-run utility's duty to provide power connection to the village.
"MSEDCL works on mission mode... so all the houses in the village are now lit up. It's MSEDCL's duty," the official said.
For the residents of Navi Talai, it was an early Diwali and a moment of joy as they celebrated the occasion by lightning up lamps while children cut cake and played on the streets in night.
The groundwork for bringing electricity to the village was prepared by local social activist Gopal Kolhe and MLC Amol Mitkari, who regularly visited Navi Talai and liaised with MSEDCL for setting up transformers and to ensure every home gets power connection.
"After we were rehabilitated, there was no light in any of our houses. Until now, we had to spend the night in dark so there were many problems.
"But with the help of MLC Mitkari now every house is refulgent. This day is bigger for us than Diwali," Navi Talai resident Nanda Thakre told to PTI.
Mitkari, who has adopted the village, said Navi Talai will now become a model of development and a household name in the state.