Nagpur: The aggrieved citizens, who targeted the truant MSEDCL (Mahavitaran) for running its affairs shabbily since years, found themselves between “The the devil and the deep sea” situation when the Spanco Nagpur Discom Limited (SNDL) was given the responsibility of supplying power to some areas (three divisions). On one hand, the customers heaved a sigh of relief following riddance of MSEDCL mess and on the other hand, they were tormented, both physically and mentally, by the tyrannical SNDL. The customers were put to such an ordeal that they started demanding handing over of power supply responsibility to MSEDCL again.
But the demand is falling on deaf years. Those who were baying for SNDL blood are now seating pretty in their “powerful” chairs after capturing power. SNDL too, taking advantage of the changed scenario, did one more dubious act and awarded a contract to a BJP man for recovery of pending dues from big fishes.
Previously, when Mahavitaran was looking after power supply and recovery of bills, customers were not facing problems as compared to SNDL. But with the follies of the customers and the “white-collared” men, complaints against MSEDCL started mounting. This aspect invariably paved way for privatization of Mahavitarn and as a result, the tyrant (SNDL) was born. Three divisions namely Civil Lines, Gandhibagh and Mahal divisions, where load-shedding, power thefts and pending dues were on greater scales, were handed over to the power franchisee. The day the SNDL was given responsibility, it started playing truant every way. Faulty meters that raced furiously were installed. Power outages in the name of maintenance (repairs) and tripping became a regular feature. In sum, the customers were hassled and harassed with no end. The faulty meters raced in such a great speed that it turned the cash-strapped SNDL into a cash-rich entity at the expense of customers.
With the “blessings” now ‘foe-turned-friend’ government, the SNDL booted out Shivsainiks who were till now looking after recovery and vigilance and handed over the “contract” to an office-bearer of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha. Today, this office-bearer holds an insurmountable clout in SNDL as well as defaulting customers. On the other hand, the Vigilance Department of SNDL and its men are proving to be “white elephants.” The Vigilance men have their own set up to make their pockets heavier.
These men almost every day catch big power thefts and spare them of any punitive action, too, after a set up. The power pilferers are slapped penalties for the name sake and after a set up. This “set up” system is ultimately taking heavy toll of SNDL coffers. From the lower rung lineman to high officials of Flying Squads are the “players” of this ‘set up’ system. The outcome of this unholy nexus between the Vigilance Department men and the defaulting customers is that the defaulters indulge in power thefts indiscriminately and the “greedy” vigilance men leave the SNDL coffers dented.
– Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha (firstname.lastname@example.org)