In a positive development, three villages in North Kashmir located in close proximity to the Line of Control (LoC) in the Kupwara district, which are frequent targets of shelling from Pakistan, will get electricity after 73 years.
As per reports, the villages of Keran, Mundian, and Patruu in the district remain cut-off for 6 months due to heavy snow. Besides, due to natural geographical barriers, the life of 14000 residents of the three villages remain endangered due to heavy shelling from the Pakistani side of the LoC. A two-year-long electrification project is now close to completion and will ease the woes of the local inhabitants of the Kupwara district.
Under the electrification project, 979 utility posts, a receiving station, and a 33 Kilovolt line have been installed by the Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL). According to Muhammad Aijaz Asad, who serves as the Managing Director of KPDCL, the Coronavirus lockdown has helped speed up the project. He informed that it was an uphill task to lay high tension wires and utility poles due to the difficult terrain and the proximity of the villages to the LoC. “We are able to divert manpower which would otherwise have been engaged in regular work to this project,” Asad was quoted as saying.
Electrification project boon for farmers in Kashmir
An official from the district administration stated that a lot of time was spent in seeking approvals for the project that has been built on defence land. Around 14,000 people living in the area had to depend on solar power or diesel generators for electricity. The farmers in the area have expressed hope that electrification in the region will boost their earnings. When Times of India spoke to farmers named Mohammad, Imran Zayed, and Ghulam Hasan Lone, they informed that they have been using digital generators to water crops such as rice, walnuts, and apples for just 3 hours. According to Zayed, the presence of a 24/7 electricity supply will be like a dream come true moment for him and can boost his income.