GREATER NOIDA: has taken 71 years from India’s Independence to reach a village just 5km from a plant of the National Thermal Power Corporation in Dadri.

But by the time lights turned on and table fans whirred in Ladhipura, more than half its residents had left it in search of a better living. It was on August 25 that a few houses in the village received power connections under the Prime Minister’s Saubhagya Yojana.

Paale Singh (65), a member of one such household, said 15 families had so far got power connections after the first transformer was set up in the village. He said that even till 30 years ago, the village had at least 50 families residing in it. But then, lack of electricity meant rising cases of thefts and robbery, which forced many to leave one by one.

“Even my two sons shifted to Dadri in search of a better lifestyle and education for their children, but I decided to stay put. They came back two years ago after a solar light was installed on the roads for travellers,” Singh added.

Singh said the setting up of the transformer was due to the sustained efforts of those still living in the village. He plans to now buy a television set to celebrate the coming of power to the village. “I am extremely happy. I witnessed the biggest achievement of this area in 100 years,” Singh said.

The excitement was palpable on Saturday when newly bought lights and fans started working in Ladhipura. While electricity meters were garlanded, the debate on which electronic gadget to buy was the talk of the village. Paale Singh cut his fingers in sheer excitement when he got a little too close to the fan. Most in the village said they were planning to buy air-coolers and fans to beat the scorching heat.

The scene was a stark contrast from earlier, when the lack of electricity forced almost all youths to leave the village. Singh’s grandson, Kallu, recalled how they had to go to neighbouring Nangla to even charge a phone. Pankaj, another villager, said though he had come for Raksha Bandhan, the actual reason for celebration was the installation of power meters. At present, the village has been getting supply for 12 hours. Officials hope the supply would be better soon.

Within days of the village being connected with power, scores of residents who had left for other places such as Nangla, Dadri etc have revisited their home and applied for electricity connections.

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