Six years on, Garhwa power project in limbo
he ambitious rural electrification project under Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Programme (RGREP) to electrify 746 villages in the district is in limbo. The project failed to achieve its target even after six years.
The project that started in 2007 aimed to electrify the district in three years. However, only 200 villages have received power so far, owing to the government’s apathy and laxity on the part of Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) officials.
Though the Andhra Pradesh-based IVRCL Company claims to have provided power connection to 489 villages, reality tells a different story altogether. The firm has just set up poles and wires in many villages and passed them off as electrified. “Villagers have to face many a difficulties in seeking power connection,” said Mohan Paswan, a BPL card holder. Jawahar Ram, Chandu Bhuiyan and Mundrika Ram, the residents of Pindra village said that they have been running from pillar to post for electricity but to no avail.
Under the scheme, 746 villages in the district were to be electrified. Of the target, only 176 villages have been electrified so far, said a source. This apart, only 5 power sub-stations have been constructed against the target of 10. K B Sinha, superintending engineer of Garhwa power division said: “As far as the company’s claim of electrifying 489 villages is concerned, we are probing into the matter to determine the actual figure”. IVRCL in-charge Pradeep Kumar Singh said: “The work has been hit owing to non-release of running amount by JSEB and supply of essential materials has been stopped.”