Although all villages in Telangana are electrified in tune with the Centre’s guidelines on electrification of villages, the power utilities of the State still have challenges in taking electricity to about 55 hamlets of five districts – Kumram Bheem-Asifabad, Adilabad, Manchercial, Nirmal and Bhadradri-Kothagudem.
Official sources stated that electrification of villages as per the latest guidelines of the Centre (Dt. Feb. 17, 2004) a village would be declared as electrified, if – the basic infrastructure such as distribution transformer and distribution lines are provided in the inhabited locality as well as the ‘Dalit- basti’ hamlet where it exists; electricity is provided to public places such as schools, panchayat office, health centres, dispensaries and community centres; and the number of households electrified should be at least 10% of the total in the village.
The Prime Minister’s declaration on 100% electrification of villages is based on the broad definition and when it comes to hamlets or habitations, thousands of them are yet to be electrified. In Telangana, in all 9,834 inhabited villages out of 10,434 revenue villages as per Census 2001 have been electrified, officials noted.
When contacted, Transmission Corporation of Telangana Limited Chairman and Managing Director D. Prabhakar Rao stated that all inhabited revenue villages were electrified about 6 to 7 years ago, when Telangana was part of combined Andhra Pradesh. New habitations would be added and electrification is a continuous process. “Some of the non-electrified hamlets were provided with solar energy kits since laying distribution lines was not viable”, he explained.
Meanwhile, the electrification of all rural households under the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijili Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) is also under progress with over 3.66 lakh households out of a total of nearly 59.73 lakh households yet to be electrified in the State as on October 11 last year.
50 power-less hamlets
Despite the speedy work on the front, there are 50 hamlets in erstwhile undivided Adilabad district which are yet to receive power supply. Of these, 32 are in Kumram Bheem-Asifabad district, 14 in Adilabad and 2 each in Mancherial and Nirmal.
The region has nearly 4,000 habitations including revenue villages and the non-electrified habitations are hamlets comprising only 10 to 15 houses. “We will complete the work taken up under Saubhagya scheme in the next 6 months or so”, assured Adilabad Superintending Engineer J.R. Chavan.
Darkness in tribal hamlets
At least five tribal settlements dotting various parts of the Bhadradri-Kothagudem district continue to languish in darkness as electricity still eludes these tiny tribal hamlets for want of forest clearance.
Official sources said tribals inhabiting these settlements at Batannagar in Gundala mandal, Chandrukunta in Kothagudem division and Nukamamidi in Mulakalapalli besides Chintagumpu and Srirampuram in Burgampadu are living without power since their formation.
Two of these settlements located in Burgampadu mandal are inhabited by Gutti Koyas, who migrated to the tribal sub-plan mandal from neighbouring Chhattisgarh over a decade ago. Officials cite lack of recognition to these settlements as habitations in Gram Panchayat records and lack of Right of Way (ROW) for laying transmission lines as the reasons for their non-electrification.
Persistent efforts by the aggrieved dwellers to prevail upon the authorities of Bhadrachalam-based ITDA to help them get access to electricity through off-grid renewable energy-based system proved futile, sources added.