Remote south Kashmir village lights up for the first time in 75 years

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 Fayaz Wani

It is a moment of joy for the residents of the remote-and-hilly village of Dooru in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district as the electricity has reached the village for the first time since independence. Tethan village, which is about 90 km away from Srinagar, comprises about 35-40 families, mostly Gujjars and Bakerwals.

The villagers are delighted to have electricity for the first time in their village. A local resident Mushtaq Ahmad said, “Now our homes are lit with electric bulbs. We were facing grave problems due to the non-availability of electricity. We were using wood to cook meals and candles and lamps to lighten our homes,” he said.

Mushtaq further said they also faced problems in mobile charging during the winter as the village witnessed heavy snowfall. “We had to travel a few kilometres on snow-laden roads to charge our mobiles to remain in touch with our dear ones.”

The village has been electrified under the Pradhan Mantri developmental programme “Har Ghar Bijli Yojana”. The programme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019. A 63 KV transformer, 38 HT poles and 57 LT Poles have been installed in the Tethan village for electrification of the entire village.  Fayaz Ahmad Sofi, technical officer PDD Anantnag, said the process of networking in the village was started in 2022. 

“We faced a big issue of tapping of the high-tension line. All the officials and men worked really hard,” he said. Mohammad Iqbal, assistant executive engineer PDD Dooru, said that it was a very tough job to electrify Tethan hamlet as it is a hilly village. A pole had to be dragged by five to six labourers from the main road to the village and installation of the pole was also a very tough job, he said.

“However, the hard work has paid off and the village has been electrified,” added Iqbal. Another local, Fazal Din Ahmed said, “Now our children will study under light and perform well.” (TheNewIndianExpress)

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