Nitish lauds 'power-ful' all-women team

Monika Kumari, an assistant engineer with Bihar State Power Transmission Company Limited, is on cloud nine. For, chief minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday felicitated the engineer and her team for being part of the all-women's team that is managing the Karbigahiya grid of Patna.

By Sanjeev kumar verma in Patna
  • Published 14.08.17
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Chief minister Nitish Kumar at the event on Sunday. 
Picture by Ashok Sinha

Patna, Aug. 13: Monika Kumari, an assistant engineer with Bihar State Power Transmission Company Limited, is on cloud nine. For, chief minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday felicitated the engineer and her team for being part of the all-women's team that is managing the Karbigahiya grid of Patna.

The chief minister felicitated these women during an event of the Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited in which he inaugurated, dedicated and laid foundation stones of power sector schemes worth Rs 1462.36 crore.

The Karbigahiya grid is an important grid of Patna and it supplies power to central Patna, including Mauryalok, SK Memorial, Sabzi Bagh and other areas of the capital. This grid supplies around 65 to 70MW of power daily to residents and commercial hubs of central Patna.

This grid is being maintained by a team of 11 women which is being headed by Monika and has one junior engineer and other women staff, including operators. The women are maintaining it since July 15.

Monika told The Telegraph: "It has been a wonderful experience so far and we have been able to manage the show without any difficulty."

The women work in night shifts and the company has made security arrangements so that team members can work without any worry.

"Apart from providing round-the-clock service of security guards, the grid has CCTV cameras having been installed at all important places keeping the safety aspect in mind," a senior official of the transmission company, said.

Nitish said: "Our government is sensitive to issues concerning women and we have already provided 50 per cent reservation for women in panchayats and 35 per cent of all government services have been reserved for women in Bihar."

Energy minister Bijendra Yadav boasted of the initiative of the power firm to depute the all-women's team for running a grid and maintained that it was probably the first-of-its-kind initiative in the country.

Nitish, on the other hand, spoke at length about the various works being done by the power companies for improving the power sector in the state and thanked the team for doing good work.

Nitish also raised the power rate issue and maintained that Bihar had urged the Centre to take steps for introducing a system using which all states could get power from the central sector at one rate.

People aware of the anomalies in the rate system had earlier told The Telegraph that the central sector power was being made available to many southern states at cheaper rates in comparison to the ones being levied on eastern states.

Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, in his speech, highlighted the benefits to consumers owing to use of LED lights and said consumers in India have been able to save around Rs 12,000 crore due to use of these lights.

Giving political colour to the event without naming Lalu Prasad's RJD, he said some political parties opted for lantern as their election symbol hoping that power would never reach all villages. "All the villages of Bihar will be electrified by the end of this year and people will find it difficult to find lanterns now," Modi said.

The lantern is the election symbol of the RJD.

Projects worth Rs 140 crore were dedicated for public use, including the grid sub-station at Areraj in East Champaran which would improve power supply in the Champaran region. The chief minister also laid the foundation stone of 29 power sub-stations for north Bihar worth Rs 118.38 crore and 40 power sub-stations for south Bihar worth Rs 159.21 crore under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana during the function.

Nitish also launched a drive for power firms to make people aware of paying bills for using electricity and desist from hooking power.