• Now, cables under ground to power Maharashtra city

    The recent pre-monsoon showers exposed the shaky condition of the overhead power cables, which snapped at ease and left many city areas in dark for hours in the rain.

    Soon, city consumers will not have to suffer from power cuts due to damage poles and electricity wires. The city has received Rs 22.66 crore for building an underground power network under the Integrated Power Distribution Scheme (IPDS) of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL).

    M G Shinde, chief engineer of MSEDCL, Kolhapur zone, said the present elevated power supplying network is vulnerable to nature’s wrath. “Despite our maintenance, strong winds, heavy rain can disturb power supply. To provide interrupted power supply in the city, we have received RS 22.66 crore under IPDS. The tender process has been completed and work will start soon,” he said.

    Shinde added, “Under the scheme, we will form 118 km underground network of low tension lines and a network of 47 km of high tension line in the city. The company will install 168 feeder pillars in the city. Consumer can look forward to uninterrupted power supply with stable pressure with the underground network.”

    He explained that the underground power cables are much safer than the overhead power supply network and has longer life. “Another major advantage of underground network is that it will prevent the power theft. An elevated power network needs constant maintenance for uninterrupted power supply. We can also save on maintenance costs after installation of underground power network,” he said.

    Executive engineer of Kolhapur urban division Sunil Mane said they are some facing problems in roadside digging to lay the underground cables. “The municipal corporation has become hurdle in the work as it officers are not cooperating despite our promise to pay digging charges. Once these issues are resolved, our work would be completed at a better pace,” he said.

    Uday Gaikwad, city-based environmental activist, said the MSEDCL has already delayed underground power supply work. “There is no coordination between Kolhapur Municipal Corporation and MSEDCL. The company implemented underground power network work in some parts in the city, but the main core area, which is vulnerable to electricity accidents, remains out of underground network. I have been demanding underground network since past many years for saving trees, clean city skyline and avoid accidents,” he said.

    He added the company should give priority to the crowded and historical building premises to lay the underground network. “It will reduce possibility of accidents and help create good environment. Underground power network would save trees. The company, every year, cuts tree branches reclining on power supply lines. This whole exercise can be avoided,” Gaikwad said.

    Despite several attempts, municipal corporation officials were not available for comment. Alexander Mogilny Jersey

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