Gurez: Most people may not know this, but electricity is yet to reach Gurez valley. In the lap of Himalayas near Line of Control (LoC), light in this scarcely populated valley comes from the diesel run power generators.
However, this remote valley, about eighty kilometers from district headquarters in Bandipora, is being connected to the power grid for the first time.
An eleven thousand Kilowatt transmission line will descend from Razdhan Pass, a high mountain pass at 3,300 meters to connect Gurez valley with Bandipora. The location for two receiving stations, as per officials, has been finalized – one each in Dawar and Neru valley.
The valley has a population of 36533 persons spread in the twenty-seven revenue villages and 67 hamlets. Currently, Gurez valley has only for six hours of power supply a day.
Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Gurez, Sandeep Singh Bali said the required power (15 Megawatt ) is generated by operating twenty diesel generators, which consume “nine lakh liters of diesel annually, that costs eight crore rupees”.
The new electrification project is being taken up under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), a Government of India scheme designed to provide continuous power supply to rural areas.
“The project is being implemented by Power Development Department on the cost of seventy-seven Crore rupees,” SDM, Bali said. “By the end of November we are hopeful that twenty-seven villages and sixty-seven hamlets will be electrified.”
He said that by October 2018, all other areas will also be electrified.
Under the scheme, new transformers, capable of carrying additional load, will also be installed in these areas. Officials said that GoI was “very keen” to get the project completed on the time.
Earlier this month, Deputy Speaker Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, Nazir Ahmed Gurezi, who is also the MLOA of the area, convened a meeting of the officers of Power Development Department (PDD) to review the status of work on Bandipora-Gurez Transmission Line.
Gurezi asked the Commissioner Secretary, PDD to provide adequate funds and directed the concerned authorities to start the works on the installation of the transmission line and construction of towers so that the people of these remote areas could be benefitted.
“One of the main reasons behind hindrance in the development of the Gurez valley is the absence of the electricity,” said an official. “After the area is electrified, it will open up opportunities. We would be able to transform it into a major tourism place.”
The power transformed by the generators is only used for the light purposes. In winter, the temperature in this harsh valley can go twenty degrees below freezing point. The road to this valley remains closed for more than five months due to rough terrain.
All the essential supplies, including ration, fuel and other commodities are stored before the arrival of the winter for the period of six months.