Villagers in Doda district have been surviving without electricity since several decades. But what has the new government changed for them? The promises of development have withered away in no time. They were struggling without electricity before and they have been living without it even now. A year has passed by and nothing has lit up their hopes so far.
“I wish to see our Prime Minister on TV; I have heard him on radio but I have never seen him on a TV set”– Sham Lal (85)
“After the Department put poles and wires in the village, we were provided electricity power but that didn’t last for more than a month”- Balbir Singh (47)
“I haven’t been able to marry off my boy, he is 34 now. Nobody is ready to move in this village, we don’t even have electricity.”– Sita Devi (57)
“I love to study, I even go to a school in the next village. But I can’t study enough during the exams, our homes don’t have electricity.”- Pooja (13)
This is the story of every home in the villages in the Dessa region of Doda district. Most of the villages in the area have no electricity supply since Independence. While some of them have also been registered under Deendayal Upadhyay Gram Yojna (previously known as Rajiv Gandhi Grameen vidyut Yojna). Despite that the villages have been without electric power for several years.
Sheinkly, Malan, Zartun, Gramdi and Shrala are some of such villages which have been facing government’s neglect continuously for several years. The Senior officials have been tossing away the matter in trash saying that the supply of power is the responsibility of the state power utility and they have no role in this matter.
Jammu and Kashmir ironically, is among the highest providers of electricity which also transfers it to other states for revenue. Yet people in some corners of the state are still struggling to survive without the most basic necessity- Electricity.
One of these villages, got electricity last year. Poles and wires were put in the village by the officials but that again didn’t last for over a month. It was suddenly cut off and it has been over three months now and no authority has cared to resolve the matter. The village is 25 KMs from the Doda district headquarters and has over 500 households. Roads, portable drinking water, medical care, electricity- there is no such availability for the residents of this village. The parents have also been complaining that if their children go out of the village for studies, they are reluctant to return.
The residents of these villages have appealed the Electricity office many a time but they have never been returned with any positive response. “They keep on delaying and some refuse to even listen to our troubles,” told another resident of Sheinkly village.
“We voted for Modi because he assured with his promises of development, but what has changed so far? nothing at all, it has been over a year now,” said Balbir Singh.