“It's unfortunate that even after so many decades of Independence, we are still groping in the dark without being able to watch television, use ceiling fans and bulbs, and know what is happening in other parts of the world,” says Vandalamp Pandanna, a tribal activist, who is at present sarpanch of A. Darakonda.

He is not the lone tribal who is feeling ignored for not getting power supply in his hamlet.

There were many who staged a dharna on Tuesday at the head office of the AP Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (APEPDCL) here. Raising slogans and waving placards, dozens of tribal people, led by CPI(M) district secretary Ch. Narsinga Rao and city president K. Loknadham, stated: “To start with, the EPDCL, as per the government's priority to supply power to inaccessible and remote hamlets, should set up a sub-station at Sapparla to benefit villages coming under A. Darakonda and Galikonda.”

In all, 122 hamlets in 16 panchayats under G.K. Veedhi mandal are deprived of power supply due to rough terrains and lack of road connectivity. A delegation of tribal people and CPI(M) leaders met APEPDCL Chairman and Managing Director Ahmed Nadeem.

Later, on his instruction, APEPDCL Chief General Manager (operations) B. Ramesh Prasad came to the dharna site near the main gate and promised to conduct a survey of the villages not having power connection within a week.

Minister's native

Mr. Narsinga Rao told the official that experiments by installing solar power supply should not be repeated following their failure in several areas. He said it was unfortunate that the tribal people were denied power supply despite the fact that G.K. Veedhi was the native place of Minister for Tribal Welfare P. Balaraju.

The tribal people alleged that though several teams had conducted a survey to install poles, nothing had materialised so far. “What we want now is serious action so that we can get quality power at least for sometime during the day,” pointed out Simhadri Gamella, MPTC member from Galikonda.

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