Nearly two decades into the 21st Century, two villages in border area of Keran in the frontier district Kupwara are without electricity, residents say.
They say successive governments have ignored their consistent pleas. Among the residents of the two villages students suffer more acutely.
Ishtiyaq Ahmad of Dhani village said he recently shifted to Kupwara town miles away from home to be able to continue his studies.
“My studies are suffering as we have to use the old traditional ways of lighting our homes after dark falls,” Ahamad said, adding his village receives just three hours of electricity supplky a day from a generator set in two shifts. Residents are forced to live a primitive lifestyle without electricity supply in the modern digital age.
“We still use wood, candles and lanterns to do household work,” said Naseer Ahmad, another resident of Dhani.
The villagers say that the administration promised last year that electricity would be provided to the area in December, but it has not arrived.
“We felt relief when the work was going on for transmission lines but after first snowfall they halted the work which is yet to be restarted,” Naseer added.
The villagers also rue absence of mobile phone and macadamised road connectivity.
“Even the road connecting us is also in a shambles. We’re being neglected since decades for every kind of basic development,” Naseer alleged.
Superintendent Engineer Kupwara, Mohammad Shafi, said that due to early snowing last year work came to halt.
“It has been restarted and we will complete it ending June this year,” Shafi said.