Elephanta Island to get permanent electricity supply

The electricity cables of 22KV power supply network are laid 20-25 metres under the sea and the power will be supplied by MSEDCL’s Nhava-Sheva power sub-station

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Gharapuri or Elephant Island, which houses the UNESCO world heritage site Elephanta caves, will finally get a permanent power supply. As the project of electrifying three villages in Gharapuri- Shetbander, Morabandar, and Rajbandara is almost over.

The island has been powerless for decades with some use of solar powers and generators, though it is located only 10 km off the Mumbai coast. The officials said that lighting up the area will boost tourism as the island receives a lot of inland as well as foreign tourists for a day tray from Gateway of India. The project was to be completed in August 2017 but was delayed as the officials faced hurdles getting clearances from the forest department.

An official from Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) said this is the first time they have laid cables under the sea. The work of laying the 22KV power supply network, 20-25 meters below the sea, was undertaken in February 2017. The cables have been laid with assistance from companies from the UK and the US that can withstand choppy seas and underwater pressure. The power supply will be offered from MSEDCL’s Nhava-Sheva power sub-station.

Recently, Maharashtra energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule also visited the site with officials and asked them to submit a proposal for street lighting in the popular tourist destination.The official said that the pilot test of the area has been successfully completed. Around 50-60 people from the villages have also filled forms to obtain new connections so the work of setting-up meter boxes is also on.

The project is set to benefit 950 villagers who have been living without proper electricity for decades and has cost the state around ₹18.5 crore. It will be inaugurated this month by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

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