Contradicting recent claims of union government and state run Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) that all Indian villages now have access to electricity, BJP legislature and newly inducted power minister of J&K, Sunil Kumar Sharma on Sunday said that 102 villages in Jammu province alone remain without electricity connections, of which 44 villages are in his home constituency of Kishtwar.
"In entire Jammu region, 102 villages are still un-electrified. To provide electricity to each and every household is the priority sector of our Prime Minister and at present work has been started on war footing to electrify these villages," said Sunil Kumar Sharma at Bhaderwah during his maiden visit of Chinab Valley. "In my home constituency (Kishtwar), 44 villages are without electricity and to meet the deadline, we have even deployed IAF to reach inaccessible areas and I am quite confident that by 30th June all the left out villages of entire Jammu and Kashmir will be electrified."
"No doubt we are living in hilly and tough terrain, but luckily we are blessed with numerous water resources and the Chenab River alone has a potential to generate 22000 MW of power, beside there are also hundreds of streams and rivulets where power can be generated through micro hydal projects and we have given the mandate to Jammu Kashmir Energy Development Agency (JKEDA) to tap the energy from these resources," the minister said
REC had recently claimed that all Indian villages now have access to electricity. According to the government data, all of 597,464 census villages have been electrified in the country.