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Nitin Raut asks AEML to provide electricity to SGNP slum dwellers

However, a court on May 7, 1997, had ordered the slum dwellers in SGNP to be removed from the forest land as most of them are encroachers. SGNP Director G Mallikarjun did not comment on the issue.

ENERGY MINISTER Nitin Raut on Tuesday directed Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited (AEML) to provide power connection at domestic rate to slum dwellers on the Appapada forest land in Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP).

However, a court on May 7, 1997, had ordered the slum dwellers in SGNP to be removed from the forest land as most of them are encroachers. SGNP Director G Mallikarjun did not comment on the issue.

Raut held a meeting in this regard in Mantrlaya on Tuesday with Dindoshi MLA Sunil Prabhu, Maharashtra State Transmission Company Director Satish Chavan and other stakeholders. The minister said the move will benefit 26,000 residents in 5,000 houses.

A forest officer said the Shiv Sena wants to ensure electricity to the SGNP slum dwellers as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections are round the corner.

An AEML spokesperson said, “We want to supply electricity to all the consumers in our licensed area. As per the law, installing network and supplying electricity to consumers in forest area requires a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the forest department. As soon as it is granted, we shall provide the supply.”

Forest officers said such an NOC can’t be given for power supply in forest areas. Raut has asked AEML to find a solution to the issue by September 15.

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