Tangled Wires: The Powerless People of Paikamal

The best of intentions can be destroyed by shoddy implementation. In 2006–07, the government of Odisha launched its Biju Gramya Jyoti Yojana, a scheme to counteract electricity problems in the more rural areas of the state. Noble in its cause, this initiative was meant to provide power to far-flung settlements, with families living below the poverty line gaining free access to the precious commodity. Years later, however, these families are yet to benefit from the scheme.

While electricity poles were swiftly erected and houses were wired up, these poles and wires remained inert. The villagers of Paikamal block in Baragarh district continue to live in a pre-industrial darkness. A primarily dalit and adivasi demographic, these people are poor. They all qualify for free electricity connections. The government, however, seems to consider its work done with the setting up of its powerless poles. They languish therefore in a mockery of infrastructure.

IndiaUnheard Community Correspondent, Saroj Kumar Suna, reports on the issue and appeals to us for support. He urges us to contact the District Collector and head of the District Electrical Committee, Mr. Bhabagrahi Mishra, and request a proper implementation of the BGJY scheme for the long-suffering residents of Paikamal. Mr. Mishra can be reached on his office phone numbers, 06646231300 and 06646232340.

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