A pow-wow between two government agencies has left residents in the lurch in Manmad town in Nashik district. Twelve thefts took place in Manmad, located about 250km from Mumbai, in one night when power was shut down for two consecutive days.
On Wednesday and Thursday, electricity to the town was cut off by the state’s power supplier, Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL), over non-payment of electricity bills by the town administration, Manmad Municipal Council.
While the first day was uneventful, thieves swung into action the subsequent day, breaking into 11 shops and a house. Besides, a grain trader was murdered about 1km from the town. While no arrests had been made till the time of filing this report on Friday evening, the local police were in the process of lodging complaints against the unidentified burglars who had made hay, taking advantage of the cover of darkness.
The power shutdown comes at a time when safety of women across the country has become a matter of prime concern.
According to sources, the municipal council owes Rs3.40 crore to the power agency, pending for the last 13 years. Reminders to pay up the outstanding amount were ignored by the town administration, said the sources.
Meanwhile, enraged residents, who submitted a memorandum to the authorities, spilled onto the Malegaon-Yeola road that criss-crosses through Manmad, holding up traffic for about a couple of hours on Friday. Traders too downed shutters in protest.
“The non-payment of dues should be sorted out between the two agencies. Why do innocent citizens have to suffer?” said Ajit Surana, a trader.