Himalayan News Service

Phidim, March 28:

Residents have failed to get electric lights in their households for over six months, despite the fact that electric cables pass just next to their village. The cable connection for hydel power produced in Ilam to Phidim and Taplejung pass just next to their own households, but they are not allowed to take its benefit, residents lamented. Adding to their plight comes kerosene shortage, which is not easily available now. As a result, residents here have not seen light for the past six months. Although officials of Phidim electricity cooperatives, prior to the start of the project, assured them that the project will soon come into operation and that electric power will be available for them in their households, they could not wait any longer after seven months and they approached Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) requesting it to provide them the facility, said Nara Bahadur Mukhia of Phidim-jhakra-9. Last Sunday, residents of Phidim 7, 8, and 9 and Ranke bazaar submitted a joint petition to the Phidim electricity cooperative with a request to have the electric power in their households. Dawa Sherpa of Phidim-jhakra-9, who is one of the member of team, said, “For how long could we wait with patience?”

Chatur Man Rai, the former ward chairman of the Phidimjhakra-8, who led the group, expressed dissatisfaction at how they have been treated so far. Although a 33 KV hydel power produced in Ilam is brought to Phidim through Ranke, Pauwa and Lalikhark, 1,000 consumers in these areas are deprived of using it. One local businessman in Lalikhark says that locals depend on firewood only. With the hydel power being made available in Ranke bazaar, the border town between Ilam and Paanchthar, it will facilitate cheese manufacturing industry there and Nepali paper industries located in Lalikhark and Pauwa that will definitely bring down the use of firewood. In addition, security guards stationed in telecommunications office in Pauwabhanjyang will be freed from darkness, locals claim-ed. Man Dev Gurung, chairman of Phidim electricity cooperatives, said delay in supplying power lin-es is due to the need of installation of a separate transmission centre both in Pauwa and Lalikhark. But the process is on, he added.