What ails the electricity department

Is the Electricity Department, Manipur absolutely centralized that the Executive Engineer (EE) and higher ups had been converted to mere rubber stamps and they could not implement or take normal decisions or had the power minister concentrated absolute authority for one reason or the other making it mandatory to channelise every thing through the minister.

The State Bank of India (SBI) Senapati Branch had deposited a sum of Rupees three lakhs (Rs 3 lakhs) or so for a 63 KV transformer and installation charges to the electricity department for the newly constructed building on the 28.01.2005 before it was handed over by the CPWD on the 14.02.2005 in anticipation, that they could move into the new building immediately.

Even after 8 months, the SBI Senapati officials and the customers are devoid of taking advantage of the new building, as the electricity department could not provide the transformer. This apathy of the department is most seriously viewed by the public and raises eye brows whether the SBI is the victim of rampant corruption in the allotment of electric transformers. However, the SBI case cannot be compared with allotments to the general public, as they have deposited the requisite money. Now the question is, had the electricity department misused the deposited cash by way of not made provisions to purchase the 63 KV transformer or allotted to some other group of people.

The building: The Rupees one crore fifty one lakhs (Rs. 1 crore 51 lakhs) gigantic SBI Senapati branch building may be the most costliest in Senapati District till date. The building is the prize of the SBI officials, customers and anyone who set foot on the three storey building. This building may be designed to handle the increase population for the coming 100 years or more in the layman view.

In a casual meeting with the branch manager, K. Daili recently, he took time to show the various rooms. The basement and some other rooms are to be preserved for anticipated future workload he stated. He lamented though a number of reminders had been made to the EE, Electricity Senapati Division for power supply, but confided that he is helpless as provision for the transformer is not forthcoming from the higher up.

Anticipated action: All said it will be interesting how soon the electricity department will react. It is for sure, that some people may go to the court and file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the near future. The Senapati District Students Association (SDSA) and other social organization(s) may activate the matter which will put the thousands of vehicles to a quandary on the NH 39. But this will be the creation of a “non” issue into an issue by the electricity department. This is an instant why Manipur is witnessing bandhs in one part of the State or the other most oftenly than the neighbouring States.

But this has to be so, as the government is not responsive to the “genuine” needs and demands of the people. To avert the present ugly situation, it is hoped the local MLAs who are suppose to know the affairs of its district and the State and the SBI, Regional Office or its appropriate authority will take up the matter in the right earnest.

Patrick A. Kolakhe
Senapati District