Odisha govt starts electrifying Murmu’s village on war footing

Baripada [Odisha]: The Odisha government on Saturday launched electrification work in a portion of Uparbeda, the ancestral village of NDA Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district, on a war footing after reports on people there remaining in the dark came to the fore.

Murmu, however, does not live in that village now. She has shifted to Rairangpur, a municipal town around 20 kilometres away from Uparbeda under Kusum block, decades ago.

Officials and workers of the Tata Power North Odisha Distribution Limited (TPNODL) went to Uparbeda with earth digging machines, electric poles and transformers to ensure supply of electricity to the portion where it is yet to reach.

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We have issued an order to the Mayurbhanj section of the company to complete electrification work and ensure power supply to the entire Uparbeda village within 24 hours, a senior official of the TPNODL told PTI.

Uparbeda village with a population of 3,500 has two hamlets. While Badasahi hamlet is fully electrified, Dungursahi has only 14 households which are yet to get electricity.

The official, who did not want to be named, said that Dungursahi was not electrified as the houses there were constructed on forest land.

We have no intention to keep the villagers in the dark, but it was so due to lack of certain official clearance, the official said.

The fact that the people in Murmu’s village remain in darkness due to lack of electricity came to the fore when journalists reached her native place to talk to the people after she was nominated the Presidential candidate.

Murmu’s nephew Biranchi Narayan Tudu lives at Dungursahi hamlet along with his wife and two children.

We had requested many people to provide electricity to our Dungursahi hamlet. However, no one paid any heed, Biranchi’s wife told reporters.

She said that they have not brought the matter to the notice of Murmu though she visits the village during festivals.

The matter has been informed to the local MLA and MP during election time in 2019, but nothing had happened, said Chittaranjan Baske, another resident of Uparbeda village.

He said the people use kerosene lamps to illuminate their houses.

Meanwhile, the villagers are elated that one among them is likely to occupy the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Uparbeda village is also the birthplace of former MPs Salkhan Murmu, Bhabendra Majhi and former minister Kartik Majhi.

Official sources said that there are 500 villages with no formal roads and 1350 villages with no electricity in Mayurbhanj district.

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