Orissa: ‘Most backward’ block goes solar

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Recognised as one of the country’s 10 most backward blocks in the country, Bandhugaon in Koraput district of Orissa has now something to cheer about. At least 24 revenue villages and hamlets in this inaccessible and Maoist-hit block have got solar electricity.

“It’s heartening to inform you that 24 villages and hamlets in the inaccessible areas of Bandhugaon blocks have been equipped with solar streetlights. People in the block can utilise electricity for their day-today needs and watch television shows,” Koraput district collector Jaya Kumar V told reporters on Monday.

Situated amid dense forests and bordering Andhra Pradesh, the Red-hit block consists of 150 revenue villages and 181 hamlets.

“It was not easy task to execute the work in the remote pockets as no contractor was willing to do so due to presence of Maoists. A prolonged struggle by the administration made it possible,” the collector said.

The district administration had on August 4 had launched a special development drive named Operation Blue Moon in Bandhugaon and Narayanpatna blocks, through which villagers’ demand for various projects like piped water supply, electrification of villages, healthcare facilities and pucca roads among others were listed. Soon, initiatives were made to expedite execution of those works.

“From the very beginning, the administration was committed to electrify the entire Badhugaon block within a time frame. I am thankful to the technical staff of Southco and other officials concerned who worked sincerely to ensure that one of the most backward blocks is electrified,” the collector said.

Since 2014, the Union government has included Bandhugaon block among the 10 most backward tribal blocks of the country.

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