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Decades after, lacs of household still waiting to get electrified

Subodh Bhasin. Dated: 9/11/2018 9:52:51 AM

Subodh Bhasin
Jammu, Sep 10
Time to time the successive governments in Jammu and Kashmir initiated several steps to electrify rural areas yet even after decades; the situation in almost lacs of homes has not changed, and rural households are waiting to get electrified.
As the sun sets, kerosene lamps flicker in several households house in the houses several people living in rural as well as hilly areas in higher reaches.
The irony is not lost whenever during elections promises are made to these household but after the election these household are left in darkness.
Talking to Young Bites correspondent several villagers in higher reaches said they have held protest demonstration from time to time and have also complaints and requests sent to the administration but one after other assurances were given
It is worthwhile to mention here that as per the Central government’s definition, means that if 10 per cent of households in a particular village and hamlet are provided a power connection through off-grid (solar or diesel gensets) or on-grid (connected with power grid station), they will be termed ‘electrified’ in papers.
The sorry state of affairs can be well gauged that rural electrification was one of the components of the Rs 24,000-crore development and reconstruction plan announced by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2004. Electrification of all villages was to be achieved by 2007 and connections to all households were to be completed by 2009.
Ironically, even ambitious schemes like Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government, have also failed to bring any change in the lives of people living in far-flung areas of the state due to slow decision-making process.
Under the gram jyoti yojana, hundered of crores was allocated for the state of Jammu and Kashmir but the amount was not fully utilised. There are about 20 lakh households in J&K and the total population is 1.25 crore
From 2017, the department has covered 1.2 lakh households bringing down the figure from 3.8 lakh using off-grid solar lights and apparently 2.6 lakh homes are still waiting to get electrified. As of now the administration has set target of November to provide power to all. The focus is on using solar energy to light up homes. And for that even solar lights are being provided.
On the main reason is the rough terrain which is a major challenge and connecting all households with electricity remains a challenge.


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