The origins of this story goes back to about 20 months.
Untill now we just had a household electricity connection & a “single phase” 1.5 HP motor through which we were managing to irrigate our fields. It was really tedious & time-consuming, however we did manage somehow. Off & on i did have thoughts that we should upgrade over to a 5 HP motor with 3 Phase electricity connection, it was just mere thoughts.
One afternoon about a year & a half back while enjoying the fruits of the labour i get a bill from the MSEDCL for INR 24k. It was indeed a rude shock & put me in an imbroglio. I tried to negotiate with them & they did reduce a part of the amount, however still we had to pay a substantial amount for electricity usage. It was only then it really dawned on to me that for irrigating the fields one either had to do it with a diesel pump or one had to get a “3 phase agricultural connection”. One litre of diesel is almost INR 60/- & good diesel outlets are located more than 40kms away from our land. Driving those 40kms & back just for a few cans of diesel doesn’t make any sense. The only other option left for us was to go through the quagmire of dealing with the corrupt mafia in the MSEDCL & get the “3 Phase agricultural connection”. For agricultural connection the unit price is subsidised @ 50 paisa per unit. So that makes it much cheaper & affordable, when compared to INR Rs 6/- per unit which is what is charged from our house (single phase) connection.
So, i approached the Junior engineer ( JE) in MSEDCL & told him this is what i need. He told me to get a few documents ready :
Document 1. To get it attested in our land papers that we’ve an open well on our land.
Document 2. To get an NOC from the village Gram-Panchayat saying that they have no objection in me getting an agricultural connection.
I managed to get the Doc 2 in about a month after about making four visits to the concerned officials, however getting the Doc 1 really took a very long time, 8 months to be precise & N number of visits to the concerned official’s office.
Somewhere in the meantime i get a call from a concerned MSEDCL official telling me that if i need a 3 phase connection then i need to pay INR 75k & then only there is possibility of getting it. Out of sheer disappointment & frustration i told him politely to close the chapter.
In March 2015 i had to meet the JE for some matter regarding my billing & he casually asked me about what happened to your interest in getting the 3 phase connection. I told him INR 75K was what was demanded from me by another official in your office & i refuse to pay such ridiculous amounts. He said that particular “corrupt” person has been transferred to Nagpur & there is a particular scheme through which he can make it available to me, however the consumer has to pay one-third of the costs. The total costs was worked out at INR 54k, so we had to shell out INR 18K. After prolonged discussion with partner weighing in the pros & cons we decided to go for it.
I kept pestering him almost every other day asking him when will this get done. He used to say now your papers are in Mulshi HQ, now your papers are in Pune HO, finally one day a small truck rolled into our farm with the new cables to be pulled in from the transformer to our house. That done now over to the second step……i.e to get the connection started & fixing the metre box. Again innumerable phone calls between the JE & me & we come to a date wherein the JE hands over the metre to me. After that another frustrating 15 days went in trying to find the local wireman to come & install the fuses to make the final connection from the transformer.
Finally when it’s all done i don’t know whether to smile or cry !!
May 1st…..is International Labour day as well as for us it marks our 5th anniversary on this land. To “celebrate” a 5 HP motor has been installed deep inside our open well, underground pipe lines have been laid out & this new electricity connection to play with……hopefully the 6th year will show “rapid greening” & for my mental peace i hope to see some reasonable income generated from this land.
Peace, love & anniversary greetings !!