For Kupwara’s Wandaji village, electricity still a distant dream

Students and elderly people face the brunt due to lack of electricity in Wandaji.
The residents said that they had moved from pillar to post to get their grievance redressed but to no avail.
The residents said that they had moved from pillar to post to get their grievance redressed but to no avail.

Kupwara: A remote village in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district is yet to see electricity even in this digital world.

Electricity has been a distant dream for over 900 souls of Wandaji, a remote village in Budnamal area of the district, putting the inhabitants to a lot of hardships.

“Budnamal area used to suffer a lot due to lack of electricity but last year our joy knew no bounds after our nearby villages got electricity for the first time. We had been told that the entire Budnamal area would be covered under a centrally sponsored scheme but later Wandaji hamlet was left out due to reasons best known to the authorities,” said Ghulam Nabi Lone, a local.

He said that more than 180 households of Ward No 4, 5, and 6 had been left out without electricity.

“We still light traditional torches (Leish) to light our houses after sunset. The oily wood to light ‘Leish’ for lighting purposes affects our health as it produces heavy smoke,” Lone said.

Students and elderly people face the brunt due to lack of electricity in Wandaji.

“I have developed serious chest disease due to heavy smoke produced by the wood over the years and the same is the case with other elderly people in our village. I have to visit District Hospital Handwara every fortnight for treatment, which costs me over Rs 3000. I want to ask the authorities why our village has been left un-electrified,” said Ghulam Muhammad Mir, an octogenarian.

The residents said that they had moved from pillar to post to get their grievance redressed but to no avail.

“From a low rung official to the chief engineer we have knocked the door of every official but every time we were returned with false promises,” they said.

Executive Engineer PDD Kupwara Division Showkat Ahmad Bhat acknowledged the hardships being faced by the people in absence of electricity.

He said that tenders had been floated and promised that Wandaji would get electricity within 20 days.

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