Remote village in Kashmir celebrates as it gets electricity for first time

A village in the Kashmir region has received electricity for the first time, local officials and residents say.

Tethan in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district has a population of just 200, and has relied on traditional sources such as wood for energy and lamps and candles for light.

The village has now received electricity under an Indian federal government scheme called the Prime Minister’s Development Package.

“We had started the process of networking in 2022,” Fayaz Ahmad Sofi, an official at Anantnag’s power development department, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

“But there was an issue of tapping of a High Tension line. Today electricity was provided to this remote area. We installed a 63 (KV) transformer here.”

Residents of this village have seen electricity for the first time after 75 years,” he added, in reference to India’s 75th anniversary of independence.

Videos on social media showed village residents dancing and celebrating.

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“We have seen electricity for the first time today. Our children will study under light now. They will be happy. We had to face a lot of problems in the absence of electricity. We relied on traditional wood for our energy requirements so far. Our problems have been solved now,” resident Fazul-u-din Khan was quoted as saying.

The development comes over four years after India’s prime minister Narendra Modi said all of the country’s inhabited villages achieved 100 per cent electrification.

According to the federal power ministry, all inhabited villages in the country without electricity – a total of about 18,374 – received electricity as of 28 April 2018.

This number excluded 1,305 uninhabited villages.

According to a 2020 report by Delhi-based think tank Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), 96.7 per cent of Indian households are now connected to the grid, with another 0.33 per cent relying on off-grid electricity sources.

The report added that while 2.4 per cent of Indian households still remain unelectrified, most of them are concentrated in the rural areas of northern states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar.