A couple of days back Chief town planner Mr. Gitchandra was talking about the concept of Smart city in a local TV Channel. Amongst the many things discussed – one particular idea, that we understand about Smart City is making the people smart to improve their standard of living.
For making the people smart it is indeed essential, a prerequisite rather, to provide 24*7 power supplies to all the people throughout the state- a common knowledge for all the people of the state that without regular and proper electric power supply people living on small business and entrepreneurship cannot march ahead, no less the grand plans, schemes and ideas being presented by the government for the welfare and benefit of the people. In this age of computer technology where the world has become a global village, without proper electricity people will be left isolated from the rest of the world as internet and mobile technology is entirely dependent on electric power supply.
Around 2013, when Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh felt the need for providing of 24*7 power supplies in the state, he blamed the people for not clearing their overdue bills, and finding a way to collect revenue from the power consumers was not an easy task for him as it would also affect his party’s, as well as his personal political venture.
Thanks to whomever bureaucrats who advised him to convert the failed state power department into a corporation, his commitment to provide 24*7 power supply to the people of the state is slowly yet steadily inching towards realization.
At least for those living in Imphal, people are having no problems with power supply. They have been made avail of round-the-clock power supply almost daily with negligible power cuts as long as they keep charging the balance of their prepaid meters.
The urgent need of the moment is to utilize local volunteers to spread awareness and understanding of what the authority has been incessantly pursuing to make available nonstop power supply to all the people. For that, elected representatives- MLAs, Gram Panchayat members, Pradhans and even the local club officials and members of every locality or community need to sensitize the people.
It is common knowledge that the electricity that we are using is being bought by the Manipur State Power department (MSPDCL) and is being distributed to the consumer of the state at subsidized rate. For Imphal area the MSPDCL reportedly spend over rupees 10 crores in buying electricity but is successful in collecting only half of the amount.
A humble suggestion for those government authority entrusted with making Imphal a smart city: it should start mobilizing the public towards the need for authentic and authorized electricity connection to all the people living in Imphal to begin with.