Residents of Nai Basti, Chowan, Dunaroo, Mir Mohalla, Khari Mohalla and Dangarpura in Keller block of Shopian district in Jammu & Kashmir feasted on more than the traditional Wazwan on Bakr-Eid this year. For the first time in decades, these isolated tribal settlements high in the mountains got a taste of “bijli, paani aur sadak ”, the three basic necessities of civic life, just a few days before the festival, thanks to the Union Territory administration’s ‘Back to Village’ or ‘B2V’, initiative.
In settlements such as Ferrawad and Shadab Kharewa, more than 50 kms from Srinagar, transformers have been put up and wires are being stringed across undulating mountainous terrains.
Black-topping of a new Chowan-Darbal road has created hope of connectivity with the block and district headquarters during winter when the area gets 10-12 metres of snow.
The rapid progress on the ground under the B2V scheme is no mean feat for the administration of a district that has emerged as the hub of new-age militancy and is surrounded by Pulwama, Kulgam and Anantnag.
“Some hamlets received power supply for the first time. In others ‘usable’ supply resumed after several decades as the defunct power lines – in many cases made up of barbed wires -- and transformers were replaced,” Maqbool Naik, Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation’s executive engineer in charge of the area said.
Power is supplied from 9 a.m to 1 p.m and 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.