Seven villages in Naxal-hit Sukma district back on electricity supply grid after 25 years

Seven villages in Naxal-hit Sukma district back on electricity supply grid after 25 years
Nearly 25 years after their homes plunged into darkness due to damage to infrastructure by Naxals, 342 families from seven remote villages of insurgency-hit Sukma district are back on the electricity supply grid, officials said. In the late 1990s, these villages had to bear the brunt of Left Wing Extremism after Naxalites ran amock in the area, destroying electricity poles and other infrastructure and depriving the locals of basic facilities.

The seven villages - Dabbakonta, Pidmel, Ekalguda, Duramangu, Tumbangu, Singanpad and Dokpad - were electrified through the conventional source of power supply early this week, said Sukma Collector Haris S.

The government and administration are committed to providing basic facilities like ration, electricity and water to the people, particularly the last man in the last mile and ensure that benefits of welfare schemes reach them, said collector told PTI.

Though some of the houses had access to solar power to light up bulbs and operate a fan, that too was plagued due to maintenance issues, said officials.

About 342 families have benefited from electrification in these seven villages, said the collector.


The priority of the government is to ensure the development of basic facilities in hyper-sensitive areas. Electricity will soon be provided to other villages in the area, he said.

Sukma is among seven districts of the less prosperous Bastar division in South Chhattisgarh, more than 400 km from the capital Raipur.

Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) Sundarraj P said setting up of six police camps in the area has helped in ensuring the development of such remote areas and reaching benefits of welfare schemes to the people.

There was electricity connectivity in these villages till the late 1990s. But Maoists damaged the electricity poles and infrastructure due to which the villagers were deprived of regular power supply for about 25 years, the IG told PTI.

After the establishment of Pidmel, Dubbakonta, Tondamarka, Dubbamarka, Elmagunda, Karrigundam and other such police camps in the area, villagers are now getting back their basic facilities and amenities, he said.

Dubbakonta and Pidmel are located along the Bheji-Chijtagufa axis. "We have camps at both Dubbakonta and Pidmel. Black-top road construction is under progress under RRP (road requirement plant)-1 scheme and is expected to be completed in the next few months," he said.

Ekalguda is located along the Errobore-Bheji axis and Singanpad, Dokpad, Tumbangu and Duramangu are all along the Kistaram-Chintalnar axis and these villages have 'kuchha' (dirt track) road connectivity at present, he said.

Joseph Kerketta, executive engineer of the electricity department in Sukma, said laying power lines in these villages was a difficult task considering the geographical condition and the presence of Naxalites.

It was a challenging task to transport the electrical materials to the identified site. All these villages are situated amidst dense forests and many villages are in highly sensitive areas, he said.

Besides, the availability of labour in this area is tough. He added, "Due to the continuous efforts of the district administration, it has become possible that today the villagers here are celebrating freedom from darkness."