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1,254 govt schools in Maharashtra in dark after failing to pay bills

1,254 govt schools in Maharashtra in dark after failing to pay bills

The power supply to 1,254 government schools in many parts of Maharashtra's Marathwada has been disconnected due to unpaid electricity bills, an MSEDCL official said on Wednesday. The situation came to light with the reopening of schools as coronavirus cases fell in the state. They owe the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd 3.47 crore.

5,276 Zilla Parishad schools in eight districts of the region owe Rs 9.82 crore to the MSEDCL.

The highest number of schools that don't have electricity supply is from Aurangabad, and they collectively owe 28.91 lakh to the MSEDCL.

"When I was Zilla Parishad CEO in Aurangabad we had limited funding from the government and then dealing with the pandemic was the priority," said Joint Managing Director of MSEDCL, Aurangabad region, Mangesh Gondavale.

The Zilla Parishad has issued letters to Gram Panchayats asking them to pay the power bills, said Ramesh Thakur, education extension officer in Aurangabad.

"Our school is in darkness for the last six months. It puts constraints on teaching too," says Pratapsingh Jarwal, a teacher from Eklahara.

While there are 171 schools without electricity in Jalna, there are 152 such schools in Beed, 199 in Latur, 134 in Osmanabad, 75 in Hingoli, 175 in Nanded and 110 in Parbhani.

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