Following reports of Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao’s ambitious plan to turn the three Raj Bhavans in the state into the country’s first ‘green’ gubernatorial residences running into trouble with the state government, NCP leader and Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde has written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, seeking his intervention to resolve the row.
Last week, The Indian Express reported that the Raj Bhavan had installed a one-megawatt solar power plant on its Pune premises that was inaugurated in November last year by the Governor and the Chief Minister.
The power plant was set up to make the Raj Bhavans in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur “self-reliant in power”. The installed capacity of the plant is 16,64,400 units per year, while cumulative annual power consumption in the three Raj Bhavans is 8,15,397 units.
The Governor had directed Principal Secretary (Energy), Arvind Singh, to devise a scheme, whereby MSEDCL would have access to the total amount of power generated by the plant and, in return, the three Raj Bhavans would not be required to pay for the electricity supplied to them.
However, the MSEDCL’s proposal submitted on August 11, 2017 was to purchase power at Rs 5.13 per unit, with accelerated depreciation for 13 years as fixed by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC), which was not in line with the Governor’s direction.
“It is very sad that a negative response is being given to the Governor’s proposal, which will earn pride for the state, and is not in tune with the state’s political and administrative culture,” said Munde in his letter to Fadnavis.
Terming it a serious matter, Munde sought Fadnvis’s intervention in the matter. “All the technical hurdles must be resolved immediately and a proposal in line with the Governor’s suggestion should be prepared at the earliest. Also, stringent action should be taken against the officials for delaying it,” Munde demanded.
Sources said that Fadnavis has asked the energy department officials to take immediate action on it. Meanwhile, Maharashtra Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule has scheduled a meeting on Wednesday to discuss issues pertaining to the plant.