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This Tripura village waited 80 years for electricity

Thanks to the solar power project, the duration of working time has increased, and so is the business hours, boosting rural economy. Haats village markets are now open even after dusk while roads from the village to the market are illuminated, helping villagers to cover the distance easily.

This Tripura village waited 80 years for electricity gcw
New Delhi, First Published Aug 10, 2022, 12:10 PM IST

After being in the dark for 80 years, life in the isolated tribal hamlet of Sarkhipara in Tripura's Khowai district has seen a radical transformation thanks to solar energy. Children now study after sunset under electric lights, while men create traditional bamboo crafts and women weave tribal clothing in the cooling breeze of ceiling fans. However, the solar energy project has expanded working hours and working days, which has helped the rural economy.

Since the roads from the village to the market are now lit, "Haats" (village markets) are now open even after night, making it easier for locals to travel the trip.

"For us, it is like a dream come true. Earlier, the only sources of illumination after night were kerosine lamps and flashlights powered by batteries. At night, the settlement appeared to be a haunted location. Children may now study after dark, and we can watch TV and charge our smartphones. Life has altered for us," farmer Kalaha Reang stated.

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An official stated that in September of last year, Sarkhipara and 11 other distant hamlets in Tripura each had a 2 KW microgrid power plant erected for the purpose of delivering electricity to communities. On July 30, in a virtual event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed the project's formal inauguration.

According to Jetanjoy Reang, who lives in nearby Nonachera village, part of the Mungiyakami block, the solar plant has altered the way of life in the community, which is positioned atop the Atharamura hill range.

"Weaving Risa and Pachhra is now something that ladies can do even at night. We can also meet together at night to watch TV with electric lighting," he said. Women cover the top portion of their bodies with "Risa," and the bottom portion with "Pachhra".

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Debabrata Sukla Das, Joint Director of Tripura Energy Development Agency (TREDA), stated that 50 additional micro grid power plants will be built very soon in addition to the dozen that have already been constructed.

He said that further 500 such isolated communities had been chosen for the installation of solar microgrids to help those who were still without energy. The government is starting an ambitious effort to use solar energy to illuminate marketplaces and roadways in far-flung tribal villages. In 239 markets over 12 blocks in the state, 2930 solar street lights have been erected by TREDA, a government agency.

(With inputs from PTI)

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