“Postponement of Scheduled Power Shutdown on 11th March, 2023”

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The Superintendent Engineer- Circle I (South) earlier published a notice informing the general public that due to annual maintenance work, there will be a power shutdown on Saturday, 11th March, 2023 from 7.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. in entire South Goa except Ponda taluka. Such lengthy power shutdowns during the religious festival & the present heat wave, created negative feelings among people of Canacona.

After hearing news of this lengthy shutdown during Shigmo, many people, youths, and some women of Canaacona contacted me & informed me that annual Jaatra, divja utsav of Shri Mallikarjun Devasthan will be held on Saturday, 11/03/2023. Women narrated a likely problem they will suffer due to power shut down & how it affects their divja ustav, upvas to be observed that day. People all over Canacona requested me to do something to resolve this religious/devotional issue.

On Thursday, 9th March, 2023, I personally met the Chief Electrical Engineer of Electricity Dept at Panaji & submitted one memorandum, appraising him of various problems face by the people due to scheduled power shutdown, and how female devotees will face mental/physical stress due to power shut down. I also brought to the notice of the authority that not only Canacona but the traditional Shigmo festival of Sanguem, Quepem, Dharbandora, Salcete talukas will be adversely affected due to power shut down. I further appraised him that power shut down will result in a water crisis putting the lives of people in South Goa in further quandary. The heat wave will also negatively affect the Jatra, shigmo festival due to power shutdown.

After hearing my contentions, the C.E.E. realised the reality & he immediately contacted the Hon’ble Chief Minister & the Hon’ble Power Minister & brought this issue to their notice & both were kind enough to agree to defer/postpone the power shut down declared on 11th March, 2023 & decided to arrange it some other day after the Shigmo festival gets over. The C.E.E. also instructed the S.E.- Circle I (South) to issue a notice informing the general public about the postponement of power shutdown.

Many Canconkars called me personally to thank me. But my question is who has taken this arbitrary decision which hurts our religious sentiments/devotional feelings. How can anybody plan such a lengthy shut down in the middle of one of the important traditional festivals of Hindu. Why do they try to disturb our festival? I request the higher authorities of Electricity Dept. to inquire into the entire episode of such a biased decision & take appropriate departmental action on the officer who is/are responsible for this mess.

Janardhan S. Bhandari

Goa Congress Warrior’s

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