In UP, power supply still a dream for 1.3 crore households

first_img In the absence of power supply, most residents of Barinpurwa have solar panels, ranging from 20 to 100 watts, installed on their rooftops or in the open. Ranjeeta has a 40-watt solar panel, which cost her ₹4,500, installed on her roof. “I bought it 10 months ago. It serves basic needs but during foggy days and during the rains we have to live in darkness,” she said.While the Centre recently claimed that it had electrified the last inhabited village in the country, 3.13 crore households in India still live without electricity. The highest number of such households are in Uttar Pradesh, 1.33 crore.Only 56% households are electrified in the state, as per the Centre’s Saubhagya scheme portal. Only Jharkhand fares worse than UP, at 48%.The figure for Barabanki, where Barinpurwa is located, is below average, at 51%, but slightly better than districts like Jalaun, Jhansi and Lalitpur, all in Bundelkhand, which have only 25, 27 and 26% of households electrified even today.Last September, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Saubhagya scheme to provide “last mile connectivity and service connections to all remaining households in both rural and urban areas to achieve universal household electrification” by December 31, 2018. The task in UP is clearly uphill. According to the state government, from October 2017 to March 2018, it gave out 15.88 lakh power connections under the scheme, out of which 8.77 lakh were handed out to poor families. Oil lamp is the popular source of light in Barinpurwa. | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt The market of Tiwaripur majra in Kolahda village where residents have installed solar panel in open area.  According to Saubhagya portal, 4.21 lakh households were electrified in UP in January, 5.41 lakh in February, 1.50 lakh in March and 2.45 lakh in April. Last year, the state also claimed to provide electricity to 61,000 majras and targets another 62 lakh in 2018.However, residents of Tiwaripur majra in Kolahda village are still without power. Shailendri Tiwari’s house is one of them. Electric wires pass through right outside her house, but the family still does not have a power connection.The poles supply power to the next hamlet as hers is still being surveyed by officials. “When the power department people came to install these poles, I asked them to connect it to my house, but they demanded ₹35,000 for the cables and transformer. Now, if I had that much money, wouldn’t I purchase a big solar roof?” asked Shailendri.Her family depends on tiny emergency lights, which are charged through a 20-watt solar panel. She does not use lamps as she is no longer entitled for kerosene. The lack of electric supply poses great challenges to her four daughters, all of whom are in school. The family has been regularly writing to the electricity department requesting electrification of their majra. On February 5, the department finally wrote back saying that the majra was still being surveyed under the ‘Power for All’ scheme, which was launched jointly by the Centre and state last April, and that the households would be electrified by December 2018.Executive engineer of the UP Power Corporation (Madhyanchal), Bhaskar, said the households still left to be electrified were being surveyed and on April 12 the work in his area had been deputed to Bajaj Electricals.“They are carrying out the door-to-door survey, finding out which village has households left behind. They will also do the electrification bit, be it fitting poles or putting up transformers,” said Bhaskar.UP Power Minister Shrikant Sharma said he was confident of achieving the target of total electrification of the remaining households in the state by December as the infrastructure for Saubhagya scheme was ready on the ground.When the BJP came to power in UP, he said, the state had 1.87 crore un-electrified households, but in one year the BJP government gave out connections to 36 lakh people.“If you compare, the track record of the last 15 years comes to 6.5 lakh connections per year. While in one year, we have given out 36 lakh connections. You can estimate the speed at which we are working,” he said. Barinpurwa is a Dalit majra — majra being a hamlet — with a population of 250-300, within the Manodharpur gram sabha of Barabanki district. While the gram sabha is technically electrified, the residents of Barinpurva still have to rely on kerosene lamps to beat the darkness. Many of them have installed solar panels for basic power supply. The village is located barely 50 km from the capital of Uttar Pradesh.Durgesh Bari’s house, located at the entry to the majra, does not have a fan or a TV set as he has no power supply. There is not a single electric pole or transformer in the majra. While the kitchen is kept out of darkness by kerosene lamps, a 20-watt solar panel helps charge mobile phones and tiny emergency lights so that the children can study in the evening. And when that fails, the family relies on a shop at the village square to charge phones at a nominal fee though a generator.“Last year some people came with electric poles and dug pits too. The women were so excited they helped them dig. But before they could plant them in our majra, they took the poles back and installed them in the neighbouring majra, saying they had come here due to a clerical mistake,” said Durgesh, pointing to the dug-out patches outside his house. That was the closest the Dalit family, which farms 1.5 bigha land for survival, came to having a power connection.Sudha, Durgesh’s mother, said the going gets tough during peak summer when the heat makes life difficult under the tin roof without a fan. “When it gets unbearable, I run to the trees for shade,” she says.Moreover, the family has to utilise the kerosene frugally as the household only gets 2 litres per month in ration, added Sudha.last_img read more

Two militants killed in Shopian encounter

first_imgTwo militants have been killed in a gunfight with security forces in south Kashmir’s Shopian on Friday, police said.In the morning, security forces zeroed in on the militants, triggering the gun battle.Initial reports suggest that the security forces launched the operation in an orchard in Dragad area of the Zainapora belt in Shopian. It followed a tip-off.”The militants opened fire when the security forces zeroed in on them. The operation is on,” said the police.The area has been cordoned and more reinforcements were rushed to the spot.last_img

Defending a dynasty

first_imgDA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss EAC stuns NU in Filoil hoops; Cardinals cruise past Chiefs Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting “I couldn’t imagine this kind of success for my team, [for] myself,” Austria said in the postgame press conference. “I never thought that I would become a PBA coach. I never thought I would become a San Miguel coach, [let alone] win a ‘five-peat.’ But God is really good.”San Miguel now has nine Philippine Cup crowns and this latest conquest is the hardest since the team needed to crawl out of a 0-3 deficit to win a seven-game series against Alaska.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsAnd the Beermen did this by pivoting to defense.“I wasn’t buying the trend that whenever we are held to under a hundred points, we would lose. We made 72 a winnable score,” Austria said. San Miguel also won Game 6 after scoring only 98 points. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netSan Miguel Beer doubled down on its label as the PBA’s greatest franchise when it dabbed another layer of luster to its pedigree after a 72-71 decision of Magnolia in Game 7 of the Philippine Cup Finals at the Big Dome.Leo Austria and his bevy of stars have helped chisel the Beermen’s legacy on granite with their fifth straight all-Filipino crown—an unprecedented feat.ADVERTISEMENT “I guess this is why coaches say ‘defense wins championships,’” he added. “It happened tonight. We’ve been criticized before that we didn’t have defense. Today, the team showed all the things that makes a champion team.”Veteran Arwind Santos feels the Beermen’s legacy is now safe.“When the time comes when we’re old and being pushed on wheelchairs, when our grandchildren are already the ones playing basketball, we could tell them that we were the only ones able to do that. That’s San Miguel.”And they’re not even done.“It’s harder to play teams with a ‘no-bearing game’ mentality,” he said. “What if we get to compete for another title? We have nothing to lose because we have the ‘five-peat’ already.”ADVERTISEMENT Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transportcenter_img ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP MOST READ Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess LATEST STORIES View comments Fair warning then to the other teams: “If we get the chance, we’re definitely going for a ‘six-peat,’” he said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more