|Javid A Malla|
Srinagar, Oct 23: Mocking at tall claims of Government over electrification of far flung areas under Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojna and Rashtriya Soyam Vikas Yojna s, around 36 villages in Kupwara stay unelectrified for decades.
People here are still forced to light up their homes with candles and kerosene-run chimneys, when rest of the world bathes in colourful neon lights "The world may have witnessed a great deal of development, but we are still living a primitive life. We have not seen power since this village came into being in 1960s. The smoke emanating from the kerosene-run chimneys has caused chest complications especially among the children," said a resident of Kumkaddi.
The villages unelectrified villages include Kainard, Taryan, Pashardan Gagal, Moori Kalaroos, Kothayan, Nardi, Shundi, Narikoot, Nardi, Dorusa, Dardepora, Wugbal, Butnard, Grahatnard, Doben, Sharanth, Monigha, Shalubutta, Takki, Sonni, Hajinakka, Chutwan, Safawali, Budinumbal, Kadhama, Bullynard, Golipora, Dardehaji, Satboyan in Dardepora and Rangwar.
Though district administration of Kupwara provided solar lighting systems to deserving beneficiaries in 2007 but most lights went out of order in 2010. "The lights are defunct for the past three years. At the time of installation, the engineers had claimed that lights would work for about 10 years and after that the batteries must be replaced. We visited the officials concerned, requesting them to check if there was any snag in the solar lighting, but no official visited the village," said Abdul Hamid Khatana, a resident of Glassdagi. Lack of electricity has affected education of students of these areas. "The facility could ensure long hours of study during nights. We are forced to study under kerosene lanterns and candles and this has proved hazardous for our health. The absence of electricity has badly affected our education," says a student, Latief Ahmad.
"Due to prolonged exposure to smoke, many people are suffering from asthma, tuberculosis and other respiratory disorders," he said.
A senior official however maintained that various far flung areas were covered under the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojna and Rashtriya Soyam Vikas Yojna in the past and the electrification or maintenance where ever necessary is on cards and soon the left out villages would be removed from darkness.