News headlines

from daijiworld's special correspondent

Panaji, Aug 22: From Wednesday onwards, the glow in the bulbs of around 70 households in Goa's surla village, would be different. For the first time, capping their two-decade-old struggle, this hilly village in remote Sattari taluka, will get power supply from its parent state – Goa – ending their dependence on Khanapur feeder in Karnataka.

Goa's chief minister Pratapsingh Rane, himself, will climb up to this village to light the first bulb fed from Goa feeder.

"Special underground cable is laid from Golavali village located downstream to Surla to supply power. Hitherto, for last two decades, the village was drawing power from Khanapur feeder in Karnataka," Goa's power minister Digamber Kamat told mediapersons on Monday.

Tucked on a hillock, 800 metres above sea level in Sattari taluka, this village is a tiny part of chief minister Pratapsingh Rane's vast Poriem constituency. "For last almost two decades, the villagers were dependent on power from neighbouring Karnataka state. This is for the first time that they will get power from Goa," Kamat explained.

The minister explained that one needs to cross Maharashtra and Karnataka soil to reach this village which is politically Goa's part. "We had to lay 14 kms long underground cable to provide connection to this village," Kamat stated.

Located atop Sattari taluka, this small hamlet, comprising of 70 houses, was often in darkness with Khanapur feeder, developing snag. "It was tedious task to get our power supply restored. We had petitioned Goa government often to connect us to Goa feeder," stated Srikant Gaonkar, Surla village sarpanch.

When chief minister Rane, who is also their local MLA, will be commissioning the electricity line tomorrow, it will cap two decade long struggle for the villagers. "It was difficult for us to travel all the way to Panaji, 80 kms away from here. Every time chief minister visited our village, demand for electricity connection via Goa topped our list," Gaonkar explained.

Power supply to get better attention

Any power cut or tripping in Goan villages will now get due attention from the electricity department from tomorrow onwards.

Mobile electricity vans, the facility which was hitherto enjoyed only by Goan towns, would be now extended to the rural folks with department adding 25 vans to its existing fleet of 12 vans.

Goa's chief minister, Pratapsingh Rane, will formally launch this service in South Goa tomorrow, state power minister Digamber Kamat told mediapersons.

Began in the year 2000, mobile electricity vans became a unique concept which was hailed even by the central government. These vans, connected to the control room and mounted with all the gadgets, rushed to solve the power tripping even during odd-hours.

"Initially, we had launched this service only to the towns through 12 vans. Now we have clubbed certain panchayats together and will be catering to entire rural areas after commissioning of these 25 vans," Kamat stated.

He said that the coastal rural villages used to face severe problems as after 8 p.m., the department failed to rush to attend power tripping. "The coastal areas which are plagued by this problem would be given priority," the power minister added.


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