In order to reach out to the hilly areas of Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district, the Army has installed solar lights at unelectrified villages under its project ‘Roshni’. The solar lights have been installed at Thanhala and Ganori-Kahara hamlets by the Bhaderwah-based Rashtriya Rifles.
“The move by the Army has helped us gain back our confidence. Our village consists of 25 families. Out of these, 15 families used to take shelter at other places due to fear of wild animals and miscreants in the night. After the installation of solar lights, 12 families have decided to stay back,” Mohd Ibrahim Magray (70), a resident of Ganori village, spoke.
The Army has so far disseminated over 17,000 solar lights among residents of such villages in Doda district.
“The Rashtriya Rifles is planning to extend the benefit to other remote and hilly villages in the district. Each identified village will be allotted 20 to 30 solar lamps,” Army officials believed.
The Army said the initiative was launched after it was felt that electricity was the most critical requirement in far-flung areas during interactions with people, including the floating population of nomadic Gujjar and Bakherwal communities. “The initial aim was to light up 5,000 homes and ‘dhoks’ (mud-houses),” the officials alleged.
Inaugurating the installation of solar lights at Thanhala village, General Officer Commanding (GOC), Delta Force, Maj Gen Rajiv Nanda said, “Considering media reports and keeping in view the problems faced by those residing in far-off unelectrified areas, we decided to extend a helping hand by installing solar street lights.”
The Centre had announced the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana in September 2017, targeting at the comprehensive electrification of villages by December 2018. The deadline was later stretched to March 2019, but more than a dozen villages in Kahara, Dessa and Kastigarh tehsils of Doda district continued unelectrified.
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