The Odisha government has begun electrification of Uparbeda, the ancestral village of NDA’s presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu after reports on the plight of villagers living in the darkness for decades came to light. Uparbeda Panchayat has seven revenue villages with a population of 15,000. The Uparbeda village in Kusumi block has two villages, Badasahi and Dungurisahi of which the latter was yet to get electrified.
People Of Uparabeda were deprived of basic amenities: drinking water, road, and electricity connectivity was a major problem for the villagers. Though Droupadi Murmu hails from the village, access to power supply was still unavailable. Murmu doesn’t stay in the village and had shifted to Rairangpur which is 20 kilometres away from her native Dungurisahi.
Dungurisahi which is 1.5 kilometres from Uparbeda has only 14 households. Former Jashipur MLA Ganeshram Khuntia said eight families stayed here. After the announcements of presidential candidates, the administration took initiative for electricity connectivity. “The administration has given land records to them, but I did not know about the electricity connectivity. While the news aired in media, all families got electricity under Saubhagya Yojana.”
The state government has completed electrification in a portion of Uparbeda. As per reports, Tata Power North Odisha Distribution Limited is supplying power to the village.
Locals have thanked Murmu, stating it is the end of darkness for them. “We are very happy that after decades we are able to get electricity. The district administration has taken all the steps to provide electricity at her doorsteps. It is the end of darkness for us. Our children will be able to read with electric facilities,” said resident Munna Pathihari.
Sarpanch Jamuna Hemram said that the local administration had refused to address the issue of electricity supply in the village. “We informed about the basic amenities to local administration but no one responded in the last few years. After Droupadi Madam was declared as a presidential candidate, the electricity department took immediate action and provided electricity supply to villagers.”
As per reports, thirty-eight electric poles and 900-meter cables, conductors, and transformers have been set up.
(With inputs from Rabindra Nayak)