Even after 70 years of independence, the inhabitants of about 75 villages in this district are still living in the ‘dark ages’. The villagers, who have to make do with no light or little light after sunset and who are fed up with promises of political leaders, may this time pose a few discomfiting questions to candidates who visit them for support, for despite the country going digital, they have to trudge miles to charge their cell phones.
Ramji Lal, a villager told HT, “We will vote only for candidates who will assure us electricity connections, otherwise we will boycott the polling.”
In Majra Nagla Mahri of Kaser under Atrauli tehsil (Aligarh), youths find it hard to get married, as people are reluctant to wed their daughters in a village that has no power. Some of the married youths have fridge, TV and other electrical gadgets lying idle in their houses. Villagers also have to walk five km to Jirauli or Kaser for just charging mobiles.
Of the largest number of majras (small hamlets) sans electricity, 43 are in Gonda block, 9 in Tappal, 4 in Khair block, 3 in Gangeri block and 1 in Lodha.
Naveen singh of Nagla Mahri told HT, “Our children study with the help of lantern. We do not know when a bulb will light up our house.” Roshan Lal of the same hamlet rued, “My sons had received fans and TV in their marriage but we cannot use them for want of electricity.”
Village youths Ajay Singh and Rohtash said,” We have decided to exert pressure on the candidates to take up the issue of electrification of our village. We will put up banner that if any candidate promises to electrify the village but fails to do so, we will gherao his residence and demonstrate.”
However, politicians are again coming forward with assurances. BJP candidate Ravendra Pal said, “The BJP-led central government has got a large number of villages electrified. If the public gives me a chance, I shall certainly get electricity in these villages.”
RLD candidate Surekha Chaudhary said, “I know that many villages have not been electrified. I shall get them power connections with my own MLA funds and will also demand extra budget from the government for the task.”