Peshrar lights up, gets set to become tourist hub
Perched atop a mound of gravel and mud near a newly installed electric transformer minutes before the Union minister of rural development was set to dedicate it in the service of people of at least 50 villages, Charu Nagesia, 42, went in despair lamenting the delay in arrival of power in his house.
“I wish it had come at least five years ago, my wife would have been alive today,” said the farmer-cum-migrant labourer from Peshrar, once one of country’s worst Maoist affected block in Lohardaga district now developing into an ideal tourist destination.
Nagesia’s wife, Sumanti had died of snake bite in her sleep at their house. Nagesia argues that if there was power, the reptile would not have dared enter his house and stung his wife to death.
Though his argument lacked logic, he tried his best to convince that lack of power had ruined several families, including his own, in the tribal hamlets of the picturesque block.
Now that all homes in the 50 odd villages have got power lines drawn lighting bulbs and making fans run throwing fresh air for the first time, the miseries are set to take back seat and open many gates and avenues for prosperity.
“Words cannot express the excitement of seeing the bulb illuminating in my house,” said Patras Nagesia, 27, a farmer and a labourer. Not used to the illumination, he said, he couldn’t sleep the entire Monday night.
While elders seemed happy for they would be able to run motor pumps to irrigate their fields and install television sets in their homes to watch their favourite serials and news channels, youngsters, particularly the teenagers, were excited because the power supply would relieve them of the extra expenses in buying solar plates to recharge their cell phones.
“Power did not reach Peshrar overnight,” said deputy commissioner, Vinod Kumar. “It required more than two years of concerted efforts by both civil and police administration coupled with a strong backing by the government,” he said, assuring to develop the hub of Left insurgents into an ideal tourist destination.
Lohardaga police superintendent Karthik S said reaching power and constructing roads upto Peshrar from Lohardaga town was a big challenge but he was happy that the task had been accomplished in record time.
He said, “The Maoist menace was the biggest bottleneck. They had let lose a reign of terror in the area for over two decades bullying traders, harassing commoners and abducting children. Murder of IPS officer Ajay Kumar Singh in 2000 proved to be the last nail in the development process.”
He said it took the arrest of 20 Maoists, surrender of 18 hardcore rebels, and rescue of 21 child soldiers in barely 18 months time to clear the area for development schemes.