Jammu, July 10
Despite the state government’s claims of total electrification of Jammu and Kashmir, hundreds of families in more than a dozen hamlets in five panchayats of Dessa in Doda district are still living in darkness.
Situated just 40 km away from Doda town, villages have been deprived of basic amenities since Independence. The administration made two half-hearted attempts, but failed to mitigate the problems of locals.
“The first electrification plan was initiated in 1986-87 by installing wooden poles and power transformers, but the whole structure collapsed within a year. In 2011-12, the government again attempted to electrify the area, but due to poor planning, it again failed,” said Sukh Dev Singh, a local resident.
Dessa is as beautiful as Kashmir and has moderate climatic conditions throughout the year, but unfortunately the government has neglected it as most of the villages here have no road connectivity.
The hamlets having maximum population like Sheinkly, Gurkhan, Kunda, Gramdi, Saras, Gorkund, Chanderbatan, Thana and Mushal have been deprived of electricity for decades.
“We want the government should install ‘mini-towers’ in these snowbound areas for supplying power. However, it just made futile attempts by wasting crores of rupees,” said Narayan Singh, another local resident.
Many residents have migrated to cities for better future of their children, but those who can’t afford to shift have been facing a tough life here due to the lack of development.
Students have to bear the maximum brunt as they seem to be the worst sufferers in the absence of electricity. “We have no other option, but to study in the light of firewood to prepare for exams. It appears as if we are living in the stone age,” said Kewal, a student.
“We have started electrification work of villages in the Dessa and Marmat areas of Doda. Hopefully, the work will be completed by December. Poles and other equipment have already reached most of the areas,” said Tasaduk Hussain Sheikh, executive engineer, power development department.
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