| Senior power official Subir Kumar Das fixes the transformer at Budduchalk Kacharia village. Picture by Amit Kumar |
Sexagenarian Naresh Jha and his fellow residents of Budduchalk Kacharia were thrilled to see the wonders of the incandescent light bulb on Sunday evening, almost 135 years after “The Wizard of Menlo Park” Thomas Alva Edison invented it and 67 years after Independence.
The village’s proximity — barely 36km — to the National Thermal Power Corporation’s 2,340MW Kahalgaon Super Thermal Power Station seems to be the biggest irony in its two failed attempts at electrification.
Brimming with excitement, residents recalled how some five years then, Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB) tried to provide electric supply to 80 below poverty line families through a small 16KV transformer but it proved futile. But the village’s first bid at electrification dates back to 25 years, when they submitted applications and deposited security money with BSEB.
Sidhartha Roy, manager, human resources and administration, Bhagalpur Electricity Distribution Company Private Limited (BEDCPL), a private company looking after power distribution in Bhagalpur, would put together systematic distribution networks around 50 villages in the region.
“The speciality of the network is that the clubbing of four wire distribution systems has helped in the installation of meters in 138 houses of Budduchalk Kacharia village, while another 80 applications have been submitted. The rest of the meters would be installed shortly,” said Roy.
The manager said the initiative taken by BEDCPL, 100 per cent subsidiary of Subhash Project Marketing Private Limited, would take up the work of setting up distribution networks in the 50 villages one by one within a year.
“BEDCPL is committed to take electricity to all areas,” said Subir Kumar Das, the chief operating officer, BEDCPL.