In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push to supply electricity to every Indian household, connecting homes in the state of Jammu & Kashmir might be the toughest.
Along India’s violence-prone northern border, engineers and construction workers are hauling tons of high-tension wires and steel frames on pack mules across barren deserts and mountain ravines to electrify one of the country’s most inhospitable states. Still, the effort, budgeted to cost Rs 4,800 crore ($740 million), may turn out to be Modi’s most rewarding.
In some villages, winter outages persist for 20 hours a day even as temperatures dip to minus 35 degrees Celsius (minus 31 degrees Fahrenheit). Modi is counting on 24×7 power to both warm homes and hearts in the Muslim-majority state, where as many as 70,000 terrorists, security forces and civilians have died in independence-fueled clashes in the past three decades. Construction of key infrastructure in the Kashmir Valley may be helping. Read More…
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