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Solar Light Sheds Light Of Progress To Hamlets Where Power Is A Myth

IMPHAL, Nov 15: Never before they have witnessed such brightness in their home after sunset. Never before have they enjoyed the varied and multiple utilities of electricity.

Virtually, these villages located in the remote corner along the State’s border with Nagaland have been caught in a time warp, away from the eyes and ears of the Government.

Just like many other villages located in interior and remote areas of Manipur, the villages of Bakei (Yangkhunou), Ziumi (Thuiyang), Tamphung, Khangjang and Chakha have never been electrified despite all the tall claims of India marching towards becoming a military and economic superpower.

Once again, it was MANIREDA which brought a new hope of development and progress to these villages in the form of installing solar power generators.

These villages located about 80 Kms away from Imphal-Dimapur road in the direction of Maram-Peren road have a total population of about 8000 people.

These villages were literally abandoned by the State until recently before MANIREDA installed solar home lighting and street lighting sets there at the initiative of Tadubi A/C MLA K Raina under the Government of India‘s Remote Village Electrification (RVE) Program.

The newly installed solar lighting systems were handed over to village chiefs by MLA K Raina, MLA Awangbou Newmai and MANIREDA Director L Manglem at a simple function held at Ziumi village yesterday.

At Bakei village, 106 solar home lighting sets and 20 street lighting sets have been installed.

Respective solar home lighting sets and street lighting sets installed at the villages of   Ziumi, Tamphung, Khangjang and Chakha are 72,13; 106, 20; 69,12; and 106, 20.

Speaking at the hand-over function, K Raina said that solar systems were installed there with the help of MANIREDA ahead of Christmas festival as a temporary arrangement before the villages can be electrified with conventional sources.

He further advised the villagers to take due care of the solar panels, battery and other equipment so that they last long.  Addressing the gathering, Tamei A/C MLA Awangbou Newmai highlighted the contradiction between the number of development programs recorded in official files and those actually implemented on the ground, particularly in remote areas.

Awangbou attributed this discrepancy to lack of transparency on the part of Government departments.

In his presidential speech, L Manglem said that the Government has been facing severe difficulties in electrification of remote areas as the available sources of conventional energy like hydro-electricity is far short of the actual requirement.

However, denying benefits of electricity to remote villages because there is not enough sources to meet all the requirements would amount to human rights violation.

Taking this into account, MANIREDA has so far provided the benefits of electricity to more than 175 remote villages of the State under Remote Village Electrification Program of the Ministry of New Renewable Energy by installing solar lighting systems.

Interacting with media person, the villagers said that they felt shame for the Government of Manipur on seeing the Nagaland villages brightly lit with electricity just across the border.

In addition to this shameful experience, the villagers had to endure lot of difficulties due to unavailability of electricity.

As a daily practice, the villagers had their dinner before sunset. At times of illness or performance of religious rituals, the villagers would light up their homes with torch made of pine-wood.

The night of full-moon was the only night in a month when the village youth could make some merriment.

‘With the installation of the solar lighting systems, the villagers are looking forward to a new dawn in their life, full of hopes and expectations’, said one of the villagers.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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