New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday described the electricity supply to Gharapuri Isle, which houses the Unesco World Heritage site Elephanta Caves, as a “new beginning of a period of development”.
“I was just watching the TV news two days ago that electricity has reached three villages of the Elephanta Island after 70 years of independence, and this has led to much joy and enthusiasm among the people there,” Modi said in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’.
“It is a very important tourist destination and the Elephanta caves are marked as the World Heritage sites by Unesco and draw tourists from all over the country and abroad. I was surprised to know that despite being such a prominent centre of tourism and its close proximity to Mumbai, electricity hadn’t reached Elephanta after so many years of independence.
“For 70 years, the lives of the denizens of three villages — Raj Bander, Mora Bander and Shet Bander — were engulfed by darkness, which has got dispelled now and there is brightness in their lives.”
He also congratulated the people and administration for the same.
“I am glad that now the villages of Elephanta and the caves of Elephanta will be lit due to electrification. This is not just electricity, but a new beginning of a period of development,” he said.
The electricity supply to the Gharapuri Isle was brought on February 22 through a 7.5-km long undersea cable.
According to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd. (MSEDCL), the project to electrify the island, has cost Rs 25 crore and was completed in 15 months.
The MSEDCL has installed a transformer in each of the three villages housing around 1,200 people, six streetlight towers each 13-metre tall with six powerful LED bulbs and provided individual power meter connections to 200 domestic and a few commercial consumers.
The Elephanta Caves and three villages surrounding it received power through generators in the past three decades.