Angered at the power situation in South Garo Hills, various NGOs today began an agitation in Baghmara over their demands.
The agitation comes after the pressure groups submitted a memo of their demands to the state government over improvements required in the power scene in the district, which they alleged has not been worked on.
“SGH is one of the oldest districts in the state but it is lagging behind in many aspects, especially the power scenario. We began our agitation to show our seriousness of getting our demands for betterment of the sector fulfilled,” said the NGOs.
They highlighted the need for the installation of a 132 KV grid power supply to the district, which they termed as urgent.
“The power lines or the utility poles are not strong enough to withstand the extreme weather events and are located in the deep forests and in reserves of Siju and Aretika. It takes days if there is a mishap in the power lines as it becomes impossible to get there during monsoons. This has been very seriously affecting residents, especially students during the summer months,” they added.
The NGOs contended that there was land readily available for construction of the power grid but there were no assurances made from the government. They further added that most transformers have become old and rugged and needed urgent replacement. These old transformers, they said, broke down quite often and brought misery to people.
The NGOs have also been demanding the transfer of the SDO of the MeECL Baghmara, Patrick Marak, for allegedly not being committed to his work and making the entire district suffer.
“There are lots of complaints against him of ill treatment of the villagers (Church members and some senior citizens) when they went to complain to him regarding power disturbances. He would allegedly scold and disrespect them. This is an uncalled for act and we strongly condemn it. We demand his immediate removal, failing which we would indefinitely strike in front of his office,” threatened the NGOs.
The agitation of the NGOs began today by the picketing of offices of the MeECL (revenue collection department and main office).