Bandipora: A Model village here in Gurez’s Tulail area has been without electricity for the last five months. Budugam, which is some 110 kilometres from the district headquarters in Bandipora, was plunged into darkness in February this year, and since then “no effort has been made to electrify the village again by repairing the defunct generator”, say villagers.
The village was declared a Model village in 2016 but, unfortunately, it doesn’t live up to its new name. Instead Budugam is like any ordinary hamlet of the division, lacking in basic facilities like all the rest.
The villagers said that they were facing immense hardship without electricity. While Gurez has no electricity supply from hydel power stations, a few hours of generator electricity illuminates homes here.
“It’s was exactly on February 7 that after going through many glitches, the generator completely stopped working. From then on, no one has even bothered to check the machine, as not even an employee comes here,” resident Mohammad Sultan Lone said. He added that they were forced to take candlelight dinners and sometimes to even eat by torchlight.
The villagers alleged the callous approach of the power department employees is the reason for the villagers being plunged into darkness very often in the 12 years since the Budugam generator was first installed.
“The generator is operated by volunteers from the village, and even kerosene is not being provided. This is the basic reason the generator quite often runs into problems,” said Abdul Samad, another villager said.
The generator was installed in the village some 12 years ago, he added, “but it hasn’t improved the problems of electricity we have been facing. We even informed the MLA quite several times and he promised redressal but all in vain.”
When Kashmir Reader spoke to Deputy Commissioner, Bandipora, Khurshid Ahmad Sanai, he said, “We have to give them a replacement for the generator, but as of now the part of the generator which is defunct was replaced and it’s running temporarily, but for the long run it will need replacement.” The DC further shared that they have distributed 1,200 solars to electrify various hamlets in Gurez under the DDUGJY scheme.