New Delhi: More than 70 years after Independence, an engineering feat by state-run transmission utility Power Grid has made it possible for India's northernmost areas in Jammu & Kashmir to plug into the national electricity network to bring 'one-nation-one-grid' closer to reality. Electricity reached the Alusteng-Alunday stretch of the 350-kilometre-long Srinagar-Kargil-Leh transmission line, tracing some of the world's highest mountain ranges and inhospitable terrains separating the Kashmir Valley from the frontier districts of Ladakh and Kargil, on January 12.
After the transmission was switched on by PowerGrid and Jammu and Kashmir power department, electricity flowed for four hours through the 220-Kv (kilo-volt) line and its four sub-stations that connect Leh to the northern grid at Alusteng near Srinagar.
Hailing the moment as a milestone, power minister RK Singh said, "This is a milestone for our country. We have now connected our northernmost areas to the national grid. It is a milestone for the people of Ladakh and Kargil. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone on August 12, 2014, and it was commissioned during this government's tenure. This is a commitment to people's welfare."
The electrification is expected to significantly improve the quality of life for the people in the area which experiences harsh and long winters, with the temperature dropping down 50 degrees below freezing point. Assured electricity supply is also expected to boost economic activity and spur employment through winter tourism. Because of their location, 95 percent of areas in Ladakh and Kargil have remained power-deficient. Habitations, including district headquarters Leh and Kargil, till recently received five hours of power supply in the evening from diesel generators and a few micro hydel projects.
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