Hardarpur, a sleepy village in the Diara or riverine belt of Bihar, was in news last December when it became the last of the 39,073 revenue villages in the state to get electricity access. This milestone in Bihar’s electrification drive also holds the promise of improving the state’s agrarian economy and, in turn, helping reduce poverty in India’s third-most populous state.
“In Bihar we realized that one of the areas which was of huge challenge was the riverine or the Diara belt comprising Sonpur, Patna, Bhagalpur, Khagaria, etc. These areas were of huge challenge due to the difficulties faced in the transportation of material and erection of transmission towers,” said Pratyaya Amrit, principal secretary, energy, for Bihar in a phone interview.
The 9-km electricity link to Hardarpur (formerly known as Haridaspur) under the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana is representative of the state’s difficult rural electrification journey. The village, having around 1,700 homes, is located on an island in the middle of the mighty Ganges river. It can be either reached through temporary floating bridges (during February-May) or by boat. These temporary bridges are removed before the onset of monsoon. One needs to travel to Shahpur Patori in Samastipur, located 50km from state capital Patna, to take the boat to Diara. After the boat journey, a trek across the sand bed brings one to the village. Read More…
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