Remote villages in the Aryan valley in Ladakh’s Kargil district near the Pakistan border have plugged into the national electricity network days before the 75th Independence Day, thanks to an engineering feat by state-run transmission utility PowerGrid.
A 40-km 11 kv (kilovolt) transmission line strung across jagged mountains in the upper reaches of the Indus river powered up Lalung, Silmoo, Batalik, Darchik, Hurdass, Sinikcey and Garkon villages on the periphery of national boundary by hooking up with the Srinagar-Leh line. Batalik was one of the focus area in the 1999 Kargil conflict due to its strategic location.
The link will enable 24X7 supply to the area, changing people’s lives and helping boost tourism and exploit food processing potential. The line has been built under the Centre’s Prime Minister Development Programme for rural electrification.
The Aryan valley is bestowed with natural beauty and also is one of Ladakh’s two fruit bowls. The area so far depended on power supplied from diesel generators for 5-6 hours in the evening.
The credit for the latest example of rural electrification in Ladakh, which is strewn with villages hidden between towering mountains, actually goes to the Srinagar-Leh transmission line inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2019.
A 350-km-long engineering marvel, this 220-kv line connected Ladakh to the national electricity network and made ‘One Nation, One Grid’ a reality more than 70 years after Independence. This line is the fulcrum of rural electrification in Ladakh.
The Centre has approved Rs 1,310 crore for wiring up Ladakh’s remote villages, including extending the Srinagar-Leh line to the Nubra Valley, north of Leh. PowerGrid has completed hooking up 20 remote villages such as Largiab in the Nubra valley. In addition, a number of 11-kV lines totaling150 km, connecting villages Wanla to Fatoksar, Lamayaru to Atishe, Fotorse and Saspol area have been laid in Kargil district.