Maharashtra Electricity News

Ease of name change on power bill after flat, shop sale: MSEDCL
Times of India | 11 hours ago | |
Times of India
11 hours ago | |

MUMBAI: Following a directive from deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (MSEDCL) has simplified the procedure for change of name on electricity bills after sale of flat or shop or any commercial establishment. "The power utility has done away with paperwork and checks by officials whi-ch were time consuming," an official from MSEDCL headquarters at Bandra said. So, the procedure, which took weeks, will now be done in a few days, sources said. MSEDCL managing director Vijay Singhal said the new step was taken as part of the state government's 'ease-of-living' initiative. "We want consumers to face minimum hassle while changing the name of the power bill," he said. At present, after paying stamp duty and registration for a new flat, a person has to make an application to the power utility firm with all details and documents. Following this, officials conduct checks at the site and after detailed verification, ask the new owner to pay relevant fees etc. "Now, the things have been simplified and one need not walk out of home and not make any application," said the official. "The stamp duty and registration department is linked to MSEDCL's IT system - as a result of which, if there is any sale of flat or commercial establishment, the details of the new owner will be reflected on the system. Our officials will simply send a SMS to the consumer to pay necessary charges for transfer of name online from home and the next bill will automatically display the new owner's name." The utility supplies power to over 2.8 crore consumers across the state, including parts of the city.

Ease of name change on power bill after flat, shop sale: MSEDCL
BEST budget: No fare hike till March 2024, bus fleet to be 7,000
Times of India | 1 day ago | |
Times of India
1 day ago | |

MUMBAI: The BEST on Wednesday submitted its budget for 2023-24 to the civic corporation, projecting a reduction in losses by Rs 250 crore in the transport division and a profit of Rs 120 crore in the electricity supply division but no hike in bus fares till March 2024. The budget showed an overall deficit of Rs 2,000 crore, the estimated gap between revenue and expenses. The BEST has proposed to start "water taxis" along the eastern waterfront and is in talks with the Mumbai Port Trust and the Maharashtra Maritime board. "We are looking at the viability of this newly proposed project, which is mentioned in our budget and will explore the possibility of running our own BEST water taxis across the coastline in the next financial year," said BEST general manager Lokesh Chandra who submitted the budget copy to the civic commissioner, I S Chahal, on Wednesday afternoon. He said the budget had also proposed e-cabs in Mumbai, for which the undertaking has begun the process of floating tenders to invite agencies which can provide environment-friendly e-cabs with drivers. These vehicles will bear the BEST logo and accept bookings from bus passengers using the Chalo app. The fleet will also be doubled to 7,000 buses by March 2024, which will include 900 electric double deckers with two staircases and premium buses with luxury facilities. The budget proposes 330 charging stations by 2023-24, which will also be available to the public to charge electric vehicles. "We are working on e-mobility as a solution for Mumbai's public transport and are encouraging e-scooters - with tie ups with private companies - so that there is last mile connect for passengers who can alight from buses and take e-two wheelers up to their final destination," an official said. The budget also speaks of all buses going digital by March 2024. Every bus will have a device fitted at the entry/exit for tap in and tap out facility wherein the commuter can use the mobile or smart card to travel on buses. A parallel paper ticket system may exist with conductors issuing them, but passengers will be encouraged to go fully digital in two years, an official said. The budget also proposes to increase ladies specials from 133 to 500 buses, and 50 buses which are open deck with the lower deck air-conditioned. In the electricity supply division, BEST proposes to install smart meters in every home by April 2024 and has earmarked Rs 1,200 crore towards capital expenditure for automation, smart grids and billing services. A significant amount will also be spent to strengthen the distribution infrastructure in the island city, which has 10.5 lakh power consumers.

BEST budget: No fare hike till March 2024, bus fleet to be 7,000
Maharashtra: Developer caught stealing electricity worth Rs 33 lakh in Thane
Times of India | 6 days ago | |
Times of India
6 days ago | |

KALYAN: The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has unearthed electricity theft worth Rs 33 lakh by a developer at his construction site in Ambernath in Maharashtra's Thane district. The MSEDCL found that the construction company — Seren Infrastructure — has been stealing electricity with the help of a remote facility. It was found that the builder stole 80,387 units of electricity worth Rs 33 lakh over 21 months from March 2021 to November 2022. In an official press note, MSEDCL claimed that the developer, earlier, by taking permission from MSEDCL constructed two 12-storey buildings at the site. After constructing two residential complexes, the developer continued to use electricity for the another residential complex from the old electricity connection without permission and constructed six floors out of 12 floors. The MSEDCL official said a raid, led by Ulhasnagar division-2 executive engineer Praveen Chakole, recently inspected the power connections of Serene Infrastructure. It was found that Serene Infrastructure was tampering with the electricity meter using remote control. After a thorough investigation, it was found that Seren Infrastructure had stolen electricity worth Rs 33 in the last 21 months. The official further said a notice has been issued to the concerned builder for the payment of stolen electricity. If this payment is not paid on time, a police complaint will be filed against Serene Infrastructure.

Maharashtra: Developer caught stealing electricity worth Rs 33 lakh in Thane
Frame rules for fixing electricity tariff in 3 months: Supreme Court to state panels
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | |
The Indian Express
1 week ago | |

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed all the state electricity regulatory commissions to frame within three months rules under the Electricity Act-2003 on the terms and conditions for determination of tariff.The ruling came while the court dismissed an appeal by Tata Power Company Limited Transmission, challenging the February 18, 2022 order of the Appellate Tribunal that had dismissed an appeal filed by it against the decision of Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) under the Act to grant transmission licence to Adani Electricity Mumbai Infra Limited (AEMIL) for setting up a 1,000 MW High Voltage Direct Current (Voltage Source Converter based) link.The three-judge bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices A S Bopanna and J B Pardiwala noted that the 2003 Act “was enacted with the objective of providing the States with sufficient flexibility to regulate the intra-state electricity system and simultaneously provided the regulatory commissions with the power to determine tariffs” and that “though the government, both at the Centre and in the States, have framed statutory policies and guidelines regulating the electricity sector, we have noticed that the Regulatory Commissions have not framed the necessary regulations to put into effect the principles prescribed under the Act”.It said that “while framing these guidelines on determination of tariff, the Appropriate Commission shall be guided by the principles prescribed in Section 61 (of the Act), which also includes the National Electricity Policy and National Tariff Policy (NTP)”.“Where the Appropriate Commission(s) has already framed regulations, they shall be amended to include provisions on the criteria for choosing the modalities to determine the tariff, in case they have not been already included”, the court said.Tata Power challenged the grant of licence to Adani Electricity Mumbai Infra Limited (AEMIL) on the ground that it was not preceded by a Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB) process.Rejecting the plea, the SC said “the Electricity Act 2003 or the policy framework, …did not make it binding upon MERC to allot the High Voltage Direct Current project only through the TBCB route… and that therefore, the Regulatory Commission’s decision to grant the project under Section 62 was within a reasonable exercise of its powers”.

Frame rules for fixing electricity tariff in 3 months: Supreme Court to state panels
ACB Aurangabad unit nabs suspects caught in 3 traps laid in 24 hours
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

AURANGABAD: The Aurangabad unit of the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) laid three successful traps within 24 hours — between Tuesday night and Wednesday evening. The Aurangabad ACB unit has jurisdiction in the districts of Aurangabad, Jalna, Beed and Osmanabad. Newly-appointed superintendent of police (ACB) Sandeep Atole, while talking to TOI, said, “The traps were carried out after we confirmed the complaints registered against the public servants who demanded cash from citizens.” The officer has appealed to the citizens to reach out to the ACB if they face any demand for bribe from public servants. In the first trap, an ACB team from Jalna arrested Pradeep Yande (43) who is currently posted in Jalna unit of legal metrology department for allegedly demanding and accepting bribe from an ex-serviceman. The complainant was asked to pay a bribe to get fuel dispensing nozzles stamped by the official. The complainant is operating a fuel station under the ex-serviceman quota. The accused was arrested after he accepted the powdered currency notes of Rs 8,000 late on Tuesday. He also claimed that of the money accepted by him, Rs 5,000 was for his own use, Rs 2,000 was for his subordinate and Rs 1,000 was for a private operator. This was followed by another trap on Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) senior technician Sahebrao Ghuge for allegedly demanding and accepting Rs 16,200 from a person who had applied for an electricity meter at his plot. In the third case, Shivhar Tamshete a talathi posted at Kumbhar Pimpalgaon in Ghansawangi of Jalna district was arrested for seeking a bribe of Rs 15,000 and accepting Rs 10,000 from the complainant who wanted his mother’s name entered in the revenue records.

ACB Aurangabad unit nabs suspects caught in 3 traps laid in 24 hours
Over 12 lakh farmers from west Maharashtra owe MSEDCL Rs 12,000 crore in power dues
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

PUNE: The cash-strapped MSEDCL said in a press statement this week that more than 12 lakh farmers, from the districts of Pune, Solapur, Satara and Sangli and Kolhapur, collectively owe the company Rs 12,000 crore in agricultural power dues. Arrears go back years. In its statement, MSEDCL said Rs 7,902 crore is owed in pending power bills. Another Rs 4,137 crore is the amount due from current power bills (for the 2022-2023 period). Officials said the dues have put immense strain on the state-owned discom. It August, it was reported that the power company has more than Rs 60,000 crore arrears as pending electricity bill payments from consumers. "Many of the farmers in western Maharashtra, who haven't paid their power bills, own bungalows, move about in luxury cars and pay income tax regularly," one MSEDCL official said. The officials added that as part of the agriculture pump policy, 2020, interest and delayed payment charges on power dues towards agriculture pumps were waived. But farmers in Solapur, Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara and Pune continue to use electricity in large amounts for pumps installed for sugarcane fields, polyhouses and other agricultural purposes. Solapur district has the most number of farmers yet to clear their dues - 3.69 lakh power consumers who haven't cleared Rs 3,600 crore in pending bills and around Rs 1,729 crore in current power bills. Pune district is next on the list, with around 3.15 lakh consumers yet to clear a pendency of Rs 2,291 crore and Rs 1,245 crore in current power bills. In Sangli, 2.4 lakh farmers have Rs 1,016 crore due in pending bills and Rs 555 crore current pendency. Satara district has 1.84 lakh agricultural consumers yet to clear around Rs 612 crore in pending bills and Rs 388 crore in current bills. In Kolhapur district, around 1.47 lakh consumers owe MSEDCL Rs 388 crore in pending bills and Rs 219 crore in current bills. According to MSEDCL, 66% of the amount recovered from the rebate scheme under the agriculture policy, 2020, will be used to immediately improve power infrastructure at the local and district levels. A 30% discount has been allowed till March next year on all arrears. Also charges on late payment and interest are completely waived, MSEDCL officials said.

Over 12 lakh farmers from west Maharashtra owe MSEDCL Rs 12,000 crore in power dues
Maharashtra: Rs 2.8 lakh siphoned off in power bill fraud
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

PUNE: A cybercrook siphoned off Rs 2.77 lakh from the bank account of a 75-year-old resident of Santosh Nagar in Katraj, in another Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) bill fraud in the city. "The victim told us in his complaint on Thursday that on October 16, he received a call from 'a representative of the power utility'. The man said electricity supply to his residence would be cut by evening over an unpaid bill," said sub inspector Nitin Jadhav of Bharati Vidyapeeth police. Jadhav added, "The caller then asked the victim to click on a link sent to him. When he did so, the crook hacked into his phone and stole data, using it to steal money from the victim's bank account." Initially, the complainant reported the matter to the cyber crime cell, which conducted a verification and then referred it to the Bharati Vidyapeeth police for an FIR. "The victim said he came to know after receiving text messages that the crook had made six-seven transactions of varying amounts. He blocked the account and filled the bank's dispute form to reclaim the money, before filing a complaint," said Jadhav, adding, "We have sent emails to the mobile phone company and bank for details of the calls and transactions. We will plan our action soon." Expert speakCyber expert Riyaz Nadaf told TOI, "The modus operandi of such crooks is to identify and target elderly people, who are not always tech-savvy. The crooks call the victims and create fear saying power supply will be disconnected, or calls and accounts will be blocked. After the victims plead, the crooks send them a link to download a software. This gets them remote access to the victim's phone, linked to the bank account. The crooks also get access to PIN numbers and can then transfers money from bank accounts." He added, "MSEDCL bill frauds can be curbed if victims stop giving phone access to strangers. If they get such calls, they should verify the veracity of the threat from power supply authorities and also inform the police."

Maharashtra: Rs 2.8 lakh siphoned off in power bill fraud
  • Maharashtra: MSEDCL unearths Rs 2.5 crore power thefts in 3 days
  • Times of India

    MUMBAI: The MSEDCL vigilance team unearthed power thefts to the tune of Rs 2.5 crore in the past three days. They registered a total 198 cases in various parts of state, of which the highest number of cases were in Thane (10 cases). The team found that in all cases, the meters had been tampered or slowed down to show less meter reading. The accused have been booked under Electricity Act and FIRs have also been registered at some of the police stations, officials said. The raids were conducted in parts of Thane, Navi Mumbai, Raigad, Pune, Aurangabad and Nagpur under the supervision of MSEDCL managing director Vijay Singhal who said that theft detections will ensure reduction in power distribution losses across state. In Konkan region alone, the theft was of electricity worth Rs 1.2 crore, sources added.

‘New buildings over 70 metres must have fire evacuation lifts to get NOC from fire brigade’
The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
2 weeks ago | |

SANJAY MANJREKAR took over as the new chief of the Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) on November 1. He has been associated with the MFB for more than three decades. In a conversation with PRATIP ACHARYA, Manjrekar talks about his vision towards bettering the service of this brigade during his stint.What are the key areas that you are planning to improve?  My primary focus is to strengthen the manpower. At present, 910 posts of fireman are vacant since no recruitment has taken place for more than three years. Therefore, our priority is to get these posts filled at the earliest. We are expecting to complete the recruitment procedure by the middle of January 2023 and the training session should begin by March.In the last two years, we have seen many fire incidents reported from various nursing homes and hospitals. How do you plan to mitigate this issue?  Every hospital and nursing home should have its firefighting system installed. Often, our officers visit hospitals and nursing homes and carry out sensitisation and awareness drives on fire-fighting measures. Now, as a precautionary measure, we will carry out random inspections in hospitals and commercial establishments to check whether the installed firefighting systems are functional or not and if they are being maintained properly. If we see the equipment is defunct, then notices will be served to the management and action will be taken against them.Often, it has been seen during the fire incidents reported in the past few years that the in-built firefighting systems in most of the residential buildings and high-rises fail to work during a blaze. How do you wish to bring an end to this problem?  According to the Maharashtra Fire Prevention & Life Safety Measure Act, the owner and occupier in a residential building are solely responsible to ensure that the firefighting systems are operational. If the systems are defunct or non-operational, then we will send them a notice immediately for setting up a new system. The Fire Act empowers the brigade to disconnect the electricity and water connection of the building in case of failure to set up a firefighting system. However, our motive is to not take extreme action straight away and we will try to raise awareness by carrying out random inspections to ensure citizens understand the importance of fire safety. These inspection drives will pick up pace soon after the ongoing recruitment process is over.With time, technology is also getting advanced. Do you plan to induct new gadgets in the brigade, for the ease of firefighting, and are there any plans to augment the number of fire stations in the city as well?  We are the first brigade to induct firefighting robots. Earlier, we had one robot and now we are getting two more robots. We have also introduced firefighting bikes for ease of access in dingy lanes and slum areas. Technical assessment of firefighting drones is also being carried out, which could be used both for monitoring and firefighting activities in the future. Besides this, we already have two fire stations ready, one in Borivali and one in Vikhroli. These stations are fully constructed and equipped with all the amenities, but we are unable to operate them due to inadequate manpower. Once the recruitments are done, we will start these stations as well.In Mumbai, skyscrapers are being built in every ward, where does the policy of installing a ‘Fire Evacuation Lift’ stand?  The builders in Mumbai will have to install Fire Evacuation Lifts compulsorily in the new buildings that have a height of more than or equal to 70 metres, without which the Fire Brigade will not issue the No-Objection Certificate (NOC). The old buildings may not need to install compulsorily, but it is advisable that if there is a possibility then evacuation lifts should also need to be installed in old buildings as well.Many Mumbaikars are opting for Electric Vehicles (EVs). Earlier this month, we saw a fire breaking out after the battery of an e-bike heated up. Is the fire brigade planning to frame any new policy for safely installing EV charging points within residential buildings?  Firstly, EVs should not be charged indoors. They should be charged at charging stations that need to be set up at an outdoor location. The occupants of the building, including the security guards should be given proper training on the do’s and don’ts of charging an EV.Those who intend to install such charging points should contact the local deputy chief engineer (electricity) and get all the necessary verification, inspection and paper-works done. A detailed set of guidelines is being uploaded and available on both the fire brigade and civic body’s websites. Whenever our station officers visit the buildings, they also tell people the necessary guidelines for charging an electric vehicle.

‘New buildings over 70 metres must have fire evacuation lifts to get NOC from fire brigade’
Maharashtra: Forest officials seek daytime power supply to farm pumps
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

PUNE: The forest department officials have appealed to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) for daytime supply of power to agriculture pumps in Junnar as a part of a move to prevent leopard attacks. Most of the attacks have taken place at night when farmers go to fields to operate pumps to water crops. Between January and October this year, one person was killed and eight were injured in leopard attacks in Ambegaon, Khed, Shirur and Junnar tehsils under the Junnar forest division. Last month, a 19-year-old girl died in a leopard attack at Jambut village in Shirur. So far, 1,439 animals have died in leopard attacks this year. Junnar forest division’s deputy conservator of forest Amol Satpute told TOI, “Our appeal to the MSEDCL is one of the measures aimed at mitigating man-animal conflict, and we are sure this will work to an extent. Many farmerswork in fields at night when their motor pumps receive power supply. The leopards, being nocturnal animals, are known to move at night, which explains the attack on farmers. Therefore, daytime supply of power to agriculture pumps will check the attacks to some extent. ” Sudhir Panikar, the MSEDCL’s officiating executive engineer in Manchar,told TOI, “We have received a list of villages in Junnar forest division where leopard attacks have been reported recently. We are working on the proposal and verifying how many villages we can supply power to during the day. Our officials are checking the power load of each sub-station in the division. ” Panikar said, “It is a genuine issue, but we are supplying power to farm pumps as per the electricity load on each sub-station. We cannot cover all the villages immediately. If a transformer in a particular area or village is not capable of supplying adequate power during the day, we have to go for supply in two shifts. Still, we are working on their proposal positively. ” “Leopard sighting is frequent in some villages. The farmers have stopped visiting their farms at night. They have incurred financial loss as they could not harvest their crops in time,” said a forest official.

Maharashtra: Forest officials seek daytime power supply to farm pumps
  • Maharashtra government to promote natural farming, says deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis
  • Times of India

    NASHIK: Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis who was in Nashik on Thursday said that state government was going to promote natural farming. He added that trainers from the state would be sent to Haryana to learn the agriculture practice and spread the knowledge to farmers here. Speaking at a programme in Nashik, Fadnavis said that Archarya Devvrat, the governor of Gujarat, during a programme in Maharashtra explained to the farmers the difference between organic and the natural farming. "Natural farming focuses on lowering input costs and growing quality food which was free from any kind of pesticides and fertilizers. We had carried out the programme in select districts in the past, and we will now bring more area under cultivation for which our trainers will soon visit the farms in Haryana where Acharya Devvrat is practicing it,” Fadnavis said. Replying to a query on starting of Yoga and Ayurveda University at Nashik, Fadnavis said that the minister of medical education, Girish Mahajan is looking into. "I would not like to announce anything now, but surely can assure that Girish Mahajan is looking into it and the government we will come out with appropriate announcements soon," said Fadnavis.

Power companies crack down on thieves at 23,000 sites in Maharashtra, raids unearth pilfering in crores
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

MUMBAI: Cracking the whip on power thieves, power utility firms across the state have stepped up vigilance post-lockdowns and raided over 23,000 locations, said sources from power firms. This has resulted in reduction of distribution losses, thereby ensuring no tariff burden on consumers who pay bills regularly. In case of MSEDCL, it conducted hundreds of raids and registered over 2,600 cases in the past seven months while there were over 13,000 cases filed earlier in 2021-22. It unearthed power thefts worth Rs 318 crore, wherein 557 million units of electricity were pilfered over the past one and half years, an official said. In one of the bigger cases, 13 bungalow owners in Kalyan zone were caught for power theft of Rs 78 lakh this week. An Adani Electricity official told this newspaper that the power company "will continue to act tough against those involved in thefts." In Mumbai suburbs, Adani Electricity intensified its drive this financial year and booked 4,921 cases between April and October for thefts of 13 million units of electricity worth Rs 20 crore, which in turn served as a deterrent and brought down distribution losses. The utility had booked 3,535 cases during the same period last year. In case of Tata Power, there was no network connectivity last year to provide connections in slum areas in Dahisar and Malwani, which led to electricity thefts, an official said. "But we developed a special service called "Substation on Wheels" and 5,000 consumers got connections till a permanent solution was in place; this reduced thefts as well," he added. Sources in BEST said that this year, 1,353 cases were booked and 122 police FIRs registered against those pilfering electricity in the island city - between Colaba and Sion-Mahim. An official said power thefts were not only detected in slums. "It also happens in a few housing societies, although the number of such cases is smaller. Due to increased vigilance, power distribution losses have dropped considerably," he pointed out. It registered 26 power theft cases in 2020-21. Sources said distribution losses had dropped to around 4% for BEST, 1% for Tata, 6.5% for Adani and around 13% for MSEDCL. Also, installation of smart meters for all power consumers by 2024-25 will help detect any theft in future in an instant, officials said.

Power companies crack down on thieves at 23,000 sites in Maharashtra, raids unearth pilfering in crores
U- DISE report of Maharashtra shows improved enrollment in schools due to the usage of technology
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

The new Unified District System for Education Plus (UDISE+) report published by the Education ministry on November 4 for all states has highlighted major reforms in Maharashtra schools. The report revealed an increase in the enrollment of students in both private and government-aided schools of Maharashtra during 2021-22 due to the usage of technology. An increase of 74,856 enrollments has been seen in these schools in this duration after going through a sharp decline in the Covid-19 period. The report brought to the fore the following findings about the performance of schools in the state: A good 2,25,86,695 students got enrolled from pre-primary to Class XII in 1.09 lakh schools in 2021-22, which was marked by extended school closure and then transitioning to online education One of the main reasons for this improvement in enrollment was the usage of technology for teaching This not only helped teachers to conduct remote classes but also brought innovative teaching methods in learning Maharashtra also topped the country for having the highest number of computers being used for pedagogical purposes, which is 27,327 in 1.09 lakh schools in 2021-22 Out of this 48% or about one in every two schools had an Internet connection, which is a high improvement from last year, when only 36 % of schools had internet facilities In just one year, the internet facilities improved to 12% of the 1.09 lakh schools in Maharashtra The U-DISE report showed that in terms of management, 85.6% of private unaided schools in the state had internet connections which is a slight increase from the last year when it was 83% The disparity in the internet connection of government and private schools has also reduced as 28.3% of government schools have access to the internet in 2021-22 compared to 11.82% in the previous session The U-DISE report also revealed that although 95% of schools in Maharashtra had electricity connections in only 85 % of schools the electricity connection was functional

U- DISE report of Maharashtra shows improved enrollment in schools due to the usage of technology
  • Number of admissions in Maharashtra govt schools sees a jump; private school enrolment dips
  • The Indian Express

    The number of admissions at government schools in Maharashtra has seen a noticeable jump in academic year 2021-22 as compared to last year. While 2020-21 saw 7,61,674 new admissions in government schools, the figure rose by 1.4 lakh to 9,03,701 in 2021-22.On the contrary, the number of new admissions in private schools has dropped from 5,68,190 in 2020-21 to 5,24,113 in 2021-22, according to the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) data released on Friday.According to several in the field, the financial insecurity during the pandemic has led many parents to turn to government or aided schools as opposed to private schools with exorbitant fees.With the entire education sector recovering post-pandemic, the overall enrolment of students has seen a slight increase. The total student enrolment in Maharashtra in academic year 2020-21 was 22,511,839 which has risen to 22,586,695 in 2021-22.However, there has been a sharp decrease in the number of schools, indicating that many had to close down.There were a total of 1,10,114 schools, including government, aided and private, in Maharashtra in academic year 2020-21. In 2021-22, the figure dropped to 1,09,605.Out of the total 509 schools which closed down in Maharashtra, highest figure belonged to private sector. As against 19,632 private schools recorded in 2020-21, Maharashtra now has 19,268 private schools, indicating closure of 364 schools. In comparison, only 95 government schools have closed down during the period. As per the UDISE data, there were 65,734 government schools in the academic year 2020-21; the number dropped to 65,639 in 2021-22.Jaywant Kulkarni, a senior teacher from a school in Kurla, said, “In absence of grants, fees are the major revenue generation source for most private schools. But many have been charging exorbitantly high fees. At the same time, disputes over fees during the pandemic saw many private schools struggling for survival. On the other hand, government schools, especially civic-run schools in urban areas, started offering sought-after curriculum which attracted new generation-parents towards them.”According to Nitin Dalvi, Mumbai head of the Maharashtra Rajya Vidyarthi Palak Shikshan Mahasangha, a parents’ organisation: “The government schools have been able to draw many new admissions amid the pandemic. However, they need to raise the standard of their services to retain the additional students.”

  • U-DISE report shows improvement in student enrolment in private, govt-aided schools in Maharashtra
  • The Indian Express

    Student enrolments in both private and government-aided schools in Maharashtra saw a slight improvement during 2021-22, showing signs of recovery after the sharp drop in enrolments during the Covid-19 period.The Unified District System for Education Plus (UDISE+) report, which was released Friday morning for all states, also showed that 2,25,86,695 students from pre-primary to Class XII were enrolled in 1.09 lakh schools in Maharashtra, an improvement of 74,856 compared to student enrolment numbers during 2019-2020 and 2020-21, the years of extended school closures and shift to online education, during the pandemic.The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic had brought with it multiple issues in the education sector such as disparity in access to devices and Internet facility for online education and inability by parents to pay fees due to financial constraints which had an adverse effect on student enrolment numbers. These issues reflected in the U-DISE report for 2020-21, which showed 2,25,11,839 students were enrolled from pre-primary to Class XII in that year compared to 2,30,54,357, in 2019-2020, indicating a drop of 5.42 lakh students.One of the reasons for the improvement could be the use of technology for teaching which enabled teachers to conduct remote classes as well as bring innovations in teaching. In terms of technology, Maharashtra schools lead the country revealed the U-DISE data as it had the highest number of computers being used for pedagogical purposes – 27,327 in 1.09 lakh schools.According to the latest report of 2021-2022, 48 per cent or nearly one in two schools had an Internet connection, a sharp improvement from the last U-DISE report, in which only 36 percent of schools had Internet facilities. In one year alone, Internet facilities expanded to 12 per cent of the 1.09 lakh schools in Maharashtra. In terms of management, the latest U-DISE report showed that 85.6 per cent private unaided schools in Maharashtra had Internet connections, a slight improvement from last year when the same percentage was 83. However, the disparity between government and private schools seems to have lessened as compared to 11.82 per cent government-run schools which had Internet access last year was 28.3 per cent in the latest report.Amongst the other indicators of the U-DISE report was that 95 per cent schools in Maharashtra had electricity connection but in only 85 per cent schools, the electricity connection was functional.

  • Maharashtra student enrolments improved by 74,856; positive signs after a sharp drop during COVID school closure period: U-DISE report
  • The Indian Express

    Student enrolments in both private as well as government-aided schools in Maharashtra saw a slight improvement during the year 2021-22, showing signs of recovery after the sharp drop in enrolments during the COVID-19 period. The Unified District System for Education Plus (UDISE+) report which was released on Friday morning for all states showed that 2,25,86,695 students from pre-primary to Class 12 were enrolled in 1.09 lakh schools in Maharashtra, an improvement of 74,856 as compared to student enrolment numbers during the years 2019-2020 and 2020-21, the years of extended school closures and shift to online education, during the pandemic.The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic had brought with it multiple issues in the education sector such as disparity in access to devices and Internet facility for online education, inability by parents to pay fees due to financial constraints which had an adverse effect on student enrolment numbers, reflected in U-DISE report for 2020-21, which showed 2,25,11,839 students were enrolled from pre-primary to Class 12 in that year compared to 2,30,54,357, in 2019-2020, indicating a drop of 5.42 lakh students.One of the reasons for the improvement could be the use of technology for teaching which enabled teachers to conduct remote classes as well as bring innovations in teaching. In terms of technology, Maharashtra schools lead the country revealed U-DISE data as it had the highest number of computers being used for pedagogical purposes – 27,327 in 1.09 lakh schools.According to the latest report of 2021-2022, 48 per cent or nearly one in two schools had an internet connection, a sharp improvement from the last U-DISE report, in which only 36 percent schools had internet facility. It means in one year alone, internet facility expanded to 12 per cent of the 1.09 lakh schools in Maharashtra. In terms of management, the latest U-DISE report showed that 85.6 per cent private unaided schools in Maharashtra had internet connections, a slight improvement from last year when the same percentage was 83. However, the disparity between government and private schools seem to have lessened as compared to 11.82 percent government-run schools which had Internet access last year was 28.3 percent in the latest reportAmongst the other indicators of the U-DISE report, was that 95 percent schools in Maharashtra had electricity connection but only in 85 percent schools, the electricity connection was functional.

Dapoli resort case: Shiv Sena leader Anil Parab, 2 others booked
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

The Dapoli police in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri on Tuesday registered a cheating case against MLC Anil Parab, a leader from the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, and two others in connection with the alleged Dapoli resort fraud case.The FIR was registered based on a complaint filed by BJP leader Kirit Somaiya, who has been alleging several irregularities in the construction of Sai Resort in Dapoli, which as per his claim, is owned by Parab, a former minister, and Sadanand Kadam. Parab has indulged in a Rs 10 crore scam, Somaiya has alleged.Parab, who has already been questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the resort case, has refuted the allegations, saying the resort is owned by Kadam.The present FIR has been registered against Parab, former Murud village sarpanch Suresh Tupe and then Gram Sevak Anant Koli under sections 420 (cheating) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. The FIR says that Parab, along with the others, made false entries in the Murud village Gram Panchayat official records with regard to the taxation of the land where the resort is built.According to the FIR, in September 2021, Somaiya had filed a complaint with the upper chief secretary of the revenue and forest department alleging that despite the fact that no construction work was carried out on a piece of land in Murud village, wrong or false entries were made about the construction in the panchayat, and based on this, tax was levied and collected.The FIR states that during the inquiry it was found that in a monthly meeting of the Murud village panchayat held in July 2019, a tax was imposed on the said property (Sai Resort) and it was noted in the records. Gram Panchayat officials were supposed to visit the site, ensure the completion of the structure and then carry out tax levy and collection proceedings. However, on detailed scrutiny of the available documents, it did not appear that any on-site tax collection as per rules was conducted and no such written evidence is available with the Gram Panchayat, the FIR says.The FIR further points out that Somaiya’s evidence of Google Earth images of the property/site between March 2019 and November 2020 revealed that the construction was not completed on the said property and that prior to completion itself, taxation proceedings were carried out. The Murud Gram Panchayat, the FIR alleges, defrauded the government by abusing its powers under Section 124 of the Maharashtra Gram Panchayat Act, 1960.The FIR also accuses Parab of requesting that property tax be levied on the property in June 2019. A year later, in June 2020, the FIR says, Parab also sought an electricity connection, allegedly pretending that the structure was complete even though it was not.“The scrutiny has clearly shown that during the period of June 2019 and November 2019, Parab as an owner of the property (Sai Resort) applied for levying tax on the property which was not even completed and without following the due procedure of visiting the site and ensuring the completion of the building, the Gram Panchayat levied and collected relevant taxes,” a police official said.“Parab pretended that construction of the structure was completed even though it was not and applied for the electricity connection, and in turn, cheated the government,” the official added.

Dapoli resort case: Shiv Sena leader Anil Parab, 2 others booked
A look at the most common types of WhatsApp scams and how to avoid them
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

Getting a lot of work-from-home job offers on WhatsApp lately, with a salary of Rs 20,000 for just a day’s work? If your first thought was that it’s too good to be true, then you’re right. These texts are nothing but a part of an increasingly popular campaign by fraudsters designed to steal your money.While some scams might appear to be obvious, such as those that declare you’ve won a huge lottery, others which claim to offer WFH are sophisticated and convincing. Recently, a Maharashtra woman fell victim to one of these and before she could realise she was being scammed, she ended up losing Rs 15.22 lakh to the fraudsters. In light of these events, we’ve decided to list down the most WhatsApp scams and how you can avoid them.Perhaps the most common of its kind is the WFH scam where scammers send out texts in batches to a large number of people. If you do respond, you’ll be asked to create a Telegram “work” account, where the scammer will send you “tasks” to perform. Funnily, you’ll have to actually pay to get new tasks, and the scammer will keep sending out those while also convincing you that you’ll be rewarded eventually. But as with most scams, the reward never turns up and the scammer disappears when you smell foul play and start asking too many questions.They can read like the following:The easiest way to avoid scams like these is to completely ignore any WFH-related job offers. Recruiters generally do their hiring through established job portals like LinkedIn and Naukri where they can connect with a wider audience. And there’s no reason for them to individually reach out to random people through chat apps.Many users have been receiving texts on WhatsApp and via SMS from unknown numbers, claiming that their electricity will be cut off if the bill is not paid. But instead of redirecting you to, say, an official government portal, you’re asked to contact a certain number.“One of our family friends was fleeced of Rs 25000 by cyber fraud. His daughter got an SMS stating that their electric meter will be disconnected today for non-payment of dues. The daughter forwarded the call to her father. Father called that number and he was asked to download an APP to make a payment. On downloading he was asked to make a test payment of Rs. 5. On doing the same he found Rs 25000 debited to his account,” wrote Twitter user Digamber Karekar (@drkarekar) in a tweet.As we had noted earlier, the electricity board generally notifies people about their overdue bills through automated calls or official text messages. They never request you to call a particular number. So, if any ‘notifications’ like these contain an unknown number, then it’s a scam. The best course of action would be to block the sender.An adaptation of the American ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ franchise, ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ is a super-popular TV game show in India. You’ve probably already heard of it, and so have millions of others, which makes its credibility a must-exploit for scammers. Keep in mind that KBC the show is in no way linked to the scam. It is just that fraudsters are misusing the show’s name.The usual pattern here is an image/video forward claiming you’ve won a KBC lottery, and in order to appear ‘convincing,’ these images typically have photos of the show’s host Amitabh Bacchan, along with a couple of random business moguls for an additional touch.Somewhere at the bottom, you’ll see a phone number, contacting which will connect you with a fraudster. That fraudster initially asks you to pay a ‘refundable’ processing fee to claim the lottery, and if you comply, they may try to extract more funds from you. Again, the best way to avoid falling for such scams is by ignoring them. The show is the play-to-win kind where you’ve to grind through successive questions to get rewarded, and handing out freebies is not how it rolls.You generally use QR codes to make payments over UPI in India. But scammers can give those a twist and use them to extract money from you. One way of doing this is by sending people texts saying they’ve won something — for example, a cash prize, along with a QR code. The message will prompt you to scan the code, enter a specified amount, and ‘receive’ the cash. But instead of receiving money, you’d actually be paying fraudsters, making this tactic yet another convincing scam.The simplest way to avoid falling prey to scams like these is to understand how QR codes work with UPI. You rarely use QR codes to receive payments, you only use them to make payments. And if anyone, through whatever mode — be it WhatsApp, SMS, or email — is asking you to scan a QR code so that they can pay you, then it’s best to ignore them.

A look at the most common types of WhatsApp scams and how to avoid them
Pune: Power not restored for a week, society on NIBM road spends festival in darkness
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

PUNE: Around 350 residents of a housing society on NIBM Road are without electricity ever since the rain that lashed the city on October 17 and spent Diwali in the dark. The rainwater had entered the basement of the The Latitude and damaged the electric meters, disrupting the power supply. The residents are now depending on the generators for power that lasts for six hours in the morning and six hours in the evening. But the supply from the generator is inadequate for the elevators to function. A Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) official on Tuesday said they were ready to restore the supply, but the residents of the society have requested the utility to wait for two more days until the meters were completely dry. One of the three chairpersons told TOI on the condition of anonymity, "We have been raising this issue since 2019, when we had first seen rainwater gushing into the society. We do not know how the MSEB had allowed the electric meters in the basement. We have asked the builder to install new meters if they have been damaged." The society has three wings - with the first one having 12 floors, the second one 11 and the third one 10 - and 83 flats. Swati Singh, a resident of the society, said, "For almost three days, we did not have any water or power supply. The builder has now made some temporary arrangements. We had to celebrate Diwali in the dark and told our relatives not to visit us. We are helping our senior citizens by getting them groceries." Preetam Meher, another resident, said, "We have a neighbour who is now hospitalised and will be discharged in two days following pacemaker implantation. We had faced a similar situation twice in 2019, when 36 cars were damaged by the rainwater." The civic body's Hadapsar-Mundhwa ward office assistant commissioner, Prasad Katkar, said, "We are investigating the issue and have sent a letter to the builder seeking details on the natural nullah and stormwater drains." I P Inamdar, the CEO of Ahura Builders that has constructed the project, said, "We have received letters from the residents and civic body and will respond."

Pune: Power not restored for a week, society on NIBM road spends festival in darkness
Finally, Pune Metro gears up to run from Pimpri to Shivajinagar; trial run in November
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

In good news for thousands of commuters who travel from Pimpri-Chinchwad to Pune city every day, Maha Metro has said that it is gearing up to launch its service from Phugewadi station to Civil Court, Shivajinagar station. Maha Metro plans to hold the trial run from November 20 and will then await a green signal from the government to run the service.“From December, we will be in a position to run Pune Metro up to Civil Court station located in Shivajinagar area. This means, the twin cities of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad will soon be connected by Pune Metro,” Maha Metro spokesperson Hemant Sonawane said on Friday.Sonawane said that by November 20, all the work, including that of the stations and the track, will be completed between Phugewadi and Civil Court station.“Already, Metro service on the Pimpri to Phugewadi route is running smoothly. Now, we are planning to stretch the Metro service up to Civil Court which is expected to be a major boon to commuters heading from Pimpri to Pune. First, we plan to hold a technical trial run from Phugewadi to Civil Court for 10 days. After that, we will send a report to the commissioner of railway safety for statutory clearance. They will then inspect the service on this section. After their green signal, we will seek the green signal for the inauguration of the service from the government,” Sonawane added.Maha Metro, which had earlier said it would run the service on this route from October-November, is now eyeing December for the inauguration. “The inauguration may take place in December or in the New Year. It is up to the government to take the call,” an official said.On the Phugewadi to Civil Court section, a couple of structures in the Khadki Cantonment area were removed by officials in the Range Hills area. “This was the last hurdle on this route. It took us 20 days to get it cleared,” Sonawane said.The Pune Metro currently runs from Pimpri (PCMC headquarters) to Phugewadi, a distance of 5 km. Maha Metro plans to open all stations at one go rather than going step by step. “From Phugewadi, the Metro will run up to Civil Court in Shivajinagar area. There will be two stations in Shivajinagar area. One will be near the spot where the State Transport bus stand once stood or close to the Akashwani office. The second will be at Civil Court,” Sonawane said.From Khadki station, the Metro will directly run to Shivajinagar bus stand or Akashwani office. “Since there is not much ridership from the Range Hills area, we do not plan to develop the station at present. Therefore from Phugewadi, the Metro will move to Dapodi, Bopodi, Khadki station and directly to Shivajinagar,” he said.From Pimpri to Range Hills Depot area, the Metro will be elevated. “But from the first station in the Shivajinagar area, the Metro will be underground. That means, the two stations from Pimpri to Shivajinagar will be underground while the rest will be on an elevated stretch,” Sonawane said.Maha Metro said that currently, 82 per cent of the work on Reach One – Pimpri to Swargate – has been completed. “By November, we plan to complete 100 per cent work from Pimpri to Shivajinagar. Similarly, Garware College to Civil Court Metro station work will also be completed by November end. The Garware to Civil Court stretch will be an elevated one and is part of the Reach 2 of Pune Metro – Vanaz to Ramwadi,” he said.Meanwhile, Maha Metro said it has completed the power supply work required to run the Metro along the entire 33.2 km route. For continuous power supply, Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (MSEDCL) has taken electricity supply from three grids. The power supply is taken from Chinchwad grid for receiving sub-stations at Pimpri-Chinchwad station, Ganeshkhind grid for Range Hill receiving substation and the Parvati grid for Vanaz receiving substation. For this, 5 to 6 km long 133 KV power cables have been laid using the latest technology.“In case of any technical failure in one grid, it will be possible to continue the Metro service by providing electricity from the other grid. The receiving substation at Range Hill has been built with the capacity to supply electricity to both corridors of the Metro simultaneously,” a Maha Metro official said.

Finally, Pune Metro gears up to run from Pimpri to Shivajinagar; trial run in November