40,000 consumers suffer due to damage to underground MSEDCL cables : Baner and Balewadi areas most affected

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PUNE: Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd. (MSEDCL)‘s underground power lines are being cut in the ongoing excavation by JCB for metro, smart city, and other works in Aundh, Baner, Balewadi area. 

As a result, MSEDCL, along with about 40,000 to 45,000 electricity consumers, is suffering unnecessarily due to the disrupted power supply. Power lines have been cut at 32 places in the last three months.

As per the information provided, metro work is going on in Baner and Balewadi areas. Digging is going on for this work and MSEDCL’s underground power lines are being cut regularly. The Pune Metro is working on pillars and stations on the University Chowk to Baner-Balewadi Road. However, the metro has stalled the work since 2020 to relocate the power system around the road.

As per the information received, work done under the smart city, road widening as well as digging are being done for water supply water lines. MSEDCL had given a budget to shift the respective power systems for road widening. However, the road widening work was carried out without shifting the power system. As a result, five power lines of MSEDCL’s 22 KV capacity are currently buried about 15 feet deep under the cement concrete road. Malfunctioning can cause repair work will be very difficult.

According to MSEDCL, the contractors concerned for all these works, including the metro, are digging at the site of underground power lines without informing the local offices of MSEDCL. As a result, power lines have been cut at 32 high and low-pressure locations in the last three months. As a result, about 40,000 to 45,000 consumers, mainly in Baner, Balewadi, Aundh, and Sakalnagar areas, are suffering unnecessarily due to the disconnected power supply.

Engineers and employees of MSEDCL have to run at night to repair power lines that have been cut or damaged in the digging work as well as to provide alternative power supply. In some places, the power supply remains off for two to three hours if alternative power supply facilities are not available. Due to this, MSEDCL has to bear the cost of repairing the broken power line along with the loss in the sale of electricity. Incidents are taking place where power lines are being cut at the same place two to three times. However, due to the rainy season, there are various hurdles in the repair work of underground power lines.

Madhupriya Dhanwate