Wagholi: Hunger Strike Against Power Cuts, 7-Year-Old Boy Joins Protest

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Friyana Munshi

Pune, 20th March 2021: Residents of Wagholi have started a hunger strike against the negligence of the government towards the problems of the citizens in the area. The problems include electricity bills and frequent power cuts. The citizens have approached the concerned authorities several times but no action has been taken to help. Hence, the citizens decided to protest against the authorities with a ‘Hunger strike’.

A total of 16 people are actively participating in the strike at over 12 societies. The people agitating with the hunger strike in Wagholi include Sanjeevkumar Patil of WHSA (Wagholi Housing Society Association), Uday Dhanraj Sonawane, Kiran Mankawale who is the Director of WHSA and the Chairman of NEOCITY Phase-2 & 3 Co-operative Housing Society, and surprisingly his 7-year-old son Yog Mankawale. 

Kiran Mankawale informed in his tweet, “My 7-years-old son is also on hunger strike since morning. He is saying if my Papa is not eating anything in a whole day then I will not eat. He has also joined me. He has not eaten anything since morning. Hope he will do it.”

The main concerns of the residents as shared by Sanjeevkumar Patil in an interview with Punekarnews.in are the frequent long power outages as well as the mass disconnection of power lines without prior notice to certain residents. 

“They have been conducting maintenance work in the power system for a year now. The work had halted due for 8 to 9 months due to Corona. However, the power cuts are too frequent, especially on Thursdays where the power cut lasts for many hours at a stretch every week. Due to Corona, we must now work from home. The ones with inverters may not be facing as much of an issue but the others are suffering as they are unable to work and are affected extremely due to which they have lost their jobs”, he said.

Further explaining the problems Patil said, “According to standard procedure the residents must be given a notice 15 days prior in case of over dues before cutting the connection. However, many residents had their electricity connection cut without any notice. Some societies receive a defaulter list however, many don’t. Meetings are being conducted and the residents are ready to provide their support and co-operation to pay off the dues. This strike has been going on since Monday on rotation. All we wish for is the solution to these problems.”

Uday Sonawane tweeted “I am doing hunger strike against MSEDCL approach from Monday, 15-03-21. 1. We do not get proper electricity 2. Last year MSEDCL looted us with huge bills 3. Now MSEDCL is cutting connections.” 

Girish Mehtani tweeted “I mentioned so many times #Wagholi comes in #India only during #Election and jaishi #Result out immediately #Wagholi declared as separate country, so it takes time.”

“Electricity has been a major problem in the area for quite some time. The Government has taken some efforts for the resolution of the problems but they haven’t been enough. Only about 50% of work has been done compared to the promises,” said Sanjeevkumar. 

Addressing the residents Sanjeevkumar made an appeal to fight for the other problems that remain prevalent in the area like garbage, drainage, and other issues.