Kathmandu, October 12:

Rural areas of Syangja district are being electrified, thanks to the initiation of local communities and support provided by the Community Rural Electrification Department (CRED).

It may be noted that some 80 per cent of the people of the district, home to 144-MW Kali Gandaki Hydropower Project, are still living in the dark.

Once the Community Rural Electrification Programme initiated by the Community Service Centre District Coordination Committee (CSC-DCC) is completed, 2770 households of some 30 villages, including Arukharka, Bhatkhola, Phedikhola, Bangefadke, Bangsing Deurali, Setidovan, Chilaunebas and Bichari Chautara VDCs, will have access to electricity.

Minister of State for Water Resources Gyanendra Bahadur Karki will inaugurate the project and hand over the power distribution system to the community at Sher Bazaar of Arukharka VDC-6 on October 18.

President of the CSD-DCC Narayan Prasad Poudel said most of the people were using kerosene lamps while few households had installed solar panels to light their homes and to meet other energy needs. Locals worked hard to extend transmission lines to their places for the first time. “They were ready to invest to bring electricity to their homes,” he said. With the extension of transmission line, the people of Phedikhola had gained access to electricity 11 years ago, but the people living some 500 metres away were left out.

Wiring at all houses has been completed in the eight VDCs, Poudel said, adding that the locals will begin installing metre boxes at their houses from Friday. The eight VDCs will be electrified in two phases, he said.

According to Uttam Ghimire, administrative officer at the CRED, the first phase of the project was completed at a cost of Rs 12.46 million. Twenty per cent of the total cost was born out by the locals.

He said 52.5 km of transmission line has been laid.