On the occasion, power supply -energy minister of the state DK Shivakumar made mentions of Bengaluru as the first Indian city to get electric supply. Shivkumar also announced plans to provide 24X7 electricity to citizens. While making mentions of the positive, the minister also made distinct mention of 39 villages in the state that are devoid of electricity supply. No electric lamps, fans and streetlights reach these areas.
In India, Karnataka remains the only state that has not received 100pct electricity supply across. As per TOI records, 30 of these electricity deprived villages fall under the Hubli Electricity Supply Company (Hescom), eight under the Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Company (Cescom), and one under the Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (Mescom).
A senior officer from the energy department points out, "Many of these villages are located in side forests and tough terrains where it's difficult to draw distribution lines. There are no proper roads to reach there," he adds. For instance, Amadalli Machalli village in Karwar taluk of Uttara Kannada district is 18 km inside a forest. And it's not a regular village: a few houses are spread out on hillocks.Besides, the forest department doesn't allow us to cut trees for laying utilities."
He further added, "Even if we install solar panels, no private vendor will come forward to maintain them due to the long distance and rough terrains. If we think of using diesel generator sets, then there's the challenge of ensuring continuous supply of fuel. We are mulling over installing small hydel units near the streams close to these hamlets. But, before that, we want to prepare village-specific plans after consulting experts."
The officer confirmed the progress of work under Centre's Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana to reach these electricity deprieved zones despite challenges.