Electricity poles were installed seven years ago in Kalimati Rural Municipality, but the villagers are still living in darknessMost of the poles are already bent with age and neglect.
Seven years ago, around 40 utility poles were fixed in various wards of Kalimati Rural Municipality in Salyan. But till today, there is no electricity supply in Kalimati.
Most of the poles are already bent with age and neglect. The villagers use traditional lanterns, kerosene lamps and Diyalo (pieces of pine wood) to light up their homes at night.
Kalimati has a population of 7,000, and a majority of them have no power at their homes.
Some households have electrified their homes with solar power, "but a majority of us can’t afford to install solar power systems at our homes", said Purna Bahadur Khadka, a local man.
“Impoverished families like ours still use kerosene lamps,” he added.
According to villagers, they had donated their labour for one month to install the electricity poles as part of the rural electrification project launched by the then Kalimati and Rampur village development committees. The two VDCs had spent Rs 900,000 to install the poles.
Once the poles were installed, the villagers began fitting electric fixtures and wirings at their homes, hoping that they would soon be getting power supply.
“The wires and fixtures at our homes have started wearing out after remaining unused for so long,” said Arjun BK, another villager. “Many political leaders had assured that they would bring electricity to our homes during the last local level and general elections. But those promises are yet to be fulfilled,” he said.
The villagers have been demanding the rural municipality to construct a small hydropower project to power their homes.
“We have to go to other villages to charge our mobile phones. Most of the villages next in the neighbouring local unit have electricity,” Resham Bahadur Thapa said.
Five years ago, Alternative Energy Promotion Centre had surveyed the Sharada stream to construct a dam in Kalimati Ward No. 3 to produce electricity.
“The centre also surveyed households, but in the end, there was no budget for the construction of the dam,” Thapa added.
According to the rural municipality, only 50 households of Laxmiur in Kalimati Rural Municipality have been connected to the national grid. Dan Bahadur Khatri, chairman of the rural municipality, said there’s a possibility to produce electricity from the local stream.
“However, we don’t have sufficient budget for that project either,” said Khatri, informing that they have limited human resources and budget in the rural municipality.
According to Khatri, higher authorities have been of little help in the matter.
“In the current fiscal year, we have allocated Rs 5 million to connect villages with electricity in the administrative centre of the rural municipality and Kalimati Ward No 6. The provincial government is yet to extend any help,” he said.