Gurez, Sep 11: Despite the official claims about rural electrification in Kashmir, electricity still remains a distant dream for many far-flung areas. Two such villages include Refugee-1 and Refugee-2 in Gurez area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
The residents living in Refugee-1and Refugee-2 villages of Tulail valley in the border area of Gurez are still being forced to reel under darkness in absence of electricity since the last seven decades.
As per official records there are around 40 families living in these villages of which 30 are below poverty line (BPL).
Most of the people here work as labourers and grazers, while some have low-ranking government jobs and they are spending sleepless nights in absence of electricity.
Locals who are mostly from the backward community told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that they have been facing multiple problems in absence of electricity since the last several decades while officials don’t even bother to visit the village to redress their genuine demand.
“We have raised our children in darkness. Their next generation will also be forced to grow up in darkness,” they said.
The locals stated that they have made numerous representations to the authorities for electrifying the villages but to no avail.
“Since the time I was born I have not seen electricity in my village. Everyone comes here for their own purposes. They are not willing to do anything for the development of this village,” said a 62-year-old Khalil Khan.
He said that they have now lost the hope of getting the village electrified as they have been running from pillar to post from the last more than seven decades. “This is very unfortunate that in today’s world the village is suffering for want of electricity.”
“Our village is far and we cannot even protest to make the concerned authorities hear us. Who will listen to us from these hilly mountains?” another resident Ahsan Ahmad said. “If not electricity, at least provide us with free solar panels as the government has been doing in other unelectrified villages,” he said.
Meanwhile, the villagers urged the Lt. Governor administration to look into the matter and help resolve the problem being faced by them.
Notably, the entire Gurez valley gets power supply through government installed diesel generators since decades as there is no provision of electricity in the area.
When contacted, sub divisional magistrate, Gurez Mudasir Ahmad said that the issue has come into his notice he would try to redress it at an earliest and both the villages will be electrified as soon as possible—(KNO)