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Pradeep Pattanayak

The Odisha government’s tall claim of all the villages being electrified has proved hollow. The Odisha Rajya Bidyut Upavokta Mahasangha (ORBUM) claims several lakhs of villages are still groping in darkness. 

Once in the Lok Sabha, while replying to the question of MP Chandrani Murmu, Union Power Minister had said that the Odisha government had claimed that 100% villages had been electrified by April 18, 2018. 

But the fact of NDA Presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu’s village Dungurisahi being in dark has laid bare the ground reality. 

If the National Family Health Survey report is anything to go by, 96.3 percent of the total families in the state have been provided with electricity connection. 

On the contrary, the Odisha Rajya Bidyut Upavokta Mahasangha (ORBUM) said of the over 1 crore families, power connection has been provided to only 60 to 65 lakh families. 

“Many villages are still groping in darkness as they are yet to be electrified. Even though the electric wires are stretched over these unlucky villages to other villages, they are yet to be illuminated,” said president, ORBUM, Panchanan Kanungo. 

Since Dungurisahi of Uparabeda under Kusumi block in Mayurbhanj district is NDA’s Presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu’s village, the State government is currently showing alacrity to electrify the village, that is only after OTV carried several reports on the village’s plight. 

But when it comes to the other villages, the least said, the better. 

Kadamadhi village under Koida block in mineral-rich Sundargarh district is a case in point. Around 102 families of the village are still living in darkness. 

Similalry, Sangabadi, Ramgarh, Sadapadar, Lachhimapadar, Tingosila, Tadapani, Baiganapadar, Kenduguda and Kusumaguda villages under Jeypore block in Koraput district are in the same boat.

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