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Power crisis in Maharashtra

Pune, where I live is directly affected by the power crisis in Maharashtra. Before I left for vacation in April, the daily load shedding was 3 hours, saving grace being the timeliness to the announced schedules. On my returning from vacation May 1st, the time was increased to four hours daily. Around the same time Shiv Sainiks ransacked a MSEB office in Pune expressing their frustration. Of course it was to gain mileage and exploit public sentiments which has been testing personal patience, discomfort and pride of many who were once proud that Maharashtra used to be the pride for industry and business in India. I asked my contractor friend who builds residences in Pune for his opinion, who without any sympathy supported the barbaric act of the sainiks. His comment was consumers only suffered load shedding, he explained the arduos task for getting new connections (corruption, harassment, patronage) as he launches new homes. We have to really thank Arun Shourie for his reform in telecom where millions of potential subscribers have multiple options. I remember the day in 1997 when a DOT linesman (now BSNL) disabled my new phone because I refused to pay him a installation bribe, it remained dead for two months. Thanks to competition BSNL has come a long way since then, their current Broadband rollout is a good example of free market behaviour. The current government has the opportunity to aggressively unbundle power generation and distribution, give consumers multiple options and guaranteed service to those who pay their bills on time. Maharashtra needs to get Dabhol started asap, stop distribution of free power, eliminate distribution losses, eliminate surcharges on those who generate captive power and harness alternate energy sources effectively. On its 10th anniversary in 2003 ,Jet Airways had a brilliant slogan ” The decade that changed Indian Aviation”. We can only live in hope that this will be the decade that will change Power generation and distribution.

1 thought on “Power crisis in Maharashtra”

  1. I will be returning to India after living abroad for more than a decade. I spent 5 years in Pune and plan to go back to settle there this year (2005). We had thursday as the load shedding day in the early 90’s. Now its a daily occurrence. 😦

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