A second year BCom student, Manisha Surela (19), moved a city court saying she and her sisters were forced to live in darkness since birth in Ahmedabad. The family has been living in a one-room home in Meghaninagar without electricity connection ever since it was snapped in 1997 following a property dispute.
Manisha said that she was forced to knock on court's door to resolve this issue as her family's fervent applications everywhere, including the electricity company and government offices, have failed in getting the power connection restored.
"Despite living in a mega city, I studied all my life in the light of kerosene lamps and bulbs run by auto-rickshaw batteries. I wish better living conditions for my two sisters," Manisha told TOI. Manisha's father Bhagatsinh is an autorickshaw driver while her two sisters are studying in school. The electricity con nection was cut in 1997 following a dispute between her father and grandfather Premsinh, who had sold the property to one of the neighbours. Since Premsinh's sons were against the sale of house, the deal was never sealed and has been riddled with litigation and disputes.
Miffed with sons overriding his decision, Manisha's grandfather got electricity supply disconnected as the house was in his name. The power supply has never been restored by the power company on the ground that it was a disputed property. "Each time we apply for restoration of electricity, our neighbour regis ters objection citing the purchase deal. We never got an electricity metre," said Manisha. Same is the condition for her three cousins living next door.
Earlier, the family had approached a criminal court which turned them down saying the dispute was civil in nature. Now, Manisha's application has been accepted by the State Legal Service Society for further proceedings in the city civil court.
Her complaint says that they are forced to live in the dark without any fault of theirs. While the government bats for girl child, the court may direct the authorities to consider their case and restore power supply because property dispute must not be the reason for this deprivation.