Keonjhar: The Centre bragged a lot about its achievement in rural electrification under the Deendayal Upadhyay Gramin Bidyutkaran Yojana across the country, but many remote pockets of Keonjhar district do not have even basic lighting.
In some case electrification is limited to the installation of utility poles and false reports are being sent, a report said.
Rural electrification has been hit by lack of proper monitoring and mismanagement while people here are reeling under darkness in villages and hamlets.
In many villages utility poles have been installed and contractors and NTPC authorities submit reports to the government claiming that electrification has been done. This has caused lots of resentment among the people. The government has not taken note of ground realities.
On the other hand, people from various hamlets come to the Collector with complaints about the absence of electricity every day.
Experts say that if the government carries out a review of electrification, the real situation will come to light. In some areas, the electrification drive has been abandoned or has remained incomplete.
NTPC authorities had floated tenders for the electrification of BPL families in Keonjhar. A private agency was given the work. The agency agreed June 12, 2016 to complete work by June 2016.
The agency was supposed to energise 45,000 BPL families in 2123 villages at a cost of Rs 225 crore. But only 18,000 BPL families in 771 villages have got electricity till date. In reality, official sources said that of them, 16,000 families were provided electricity. It was also stated that 1,172 households in 65 villages were electrified in July itself, which is doubtful.
Various quarters said that NTPC authorities do not take stock of the facts on the ground. They have pressed for an investigation into the false claim of the contractor executing the electrification drive.
With electrification going on at a tardy pace the target to cover all villages by March 31, 2019, will remain a far cry.
NTPC Assistant General Manager of NTPC said the personnel department can give report about rural electrification. However, he denied any irregularities in the drive.