Tribal hamlets inside Nagarahole in dark as solar lights fail

While essential services in the village, including the anganwadi, enjoy regular power supply, the houses in these hamlets remain shrouded in darkness owing to faulty solar lights.
A recent protest by the residents of Goluru hamlet
A recent protest by the residents of Goluru hamlet

MYSURU: In striking contrast to the claims by authorities of ensuring basic amenities to the remotest corners in the country, tribal hamlets in the forest ranges of the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve are facing several challenges.

The solar lights installed in Goluru tribal hamlet under the DB Kuppe village panchayat in HD Kote taluk, Mysuru district, have been lying in disrepair, pushing the entire area into darkness. The tribals now live in constant fear of attack by wild animals.

While essential services in the village, including the anganwadi, enjoy regular power supply, the houses in these hamlets remain shrouded in darkness owing to faulty solar lights. This disparity is particularly disheartening ahead of the monsoon, heightening the community’s vulnerability and hardships.

The State Government, responding to the tribals’ pleas for basic infrastructure, installed solar lights in front of all the houses in this tribal area, promising a functional lifespan of over five years. However, the majority of these lights have failed, leaving the 50-odd households in Goluru without illumination. Despite numerous complaints and urgent appeals to the authorities concerned and the agency responsible for the lights, the issues remain unresolved.

“It is unacceptable that, in this day and age, an entire community is left without basic amenities. Though we tried contacting the toll-free number provided, they offered excuses, stating their salaries were on hold. Even the authorities have ignored repeated pleas for help,” Sunit TR, a member of the Akhila Bharata Janadhikara Suraksha Committee, expressed his frustration.

Gauri, a resident of Goluru, shared her distress, saying that the residents live in constant fear. “Without proper lighting, we can’t see the snakes and other wildlife that come near and sometimes into our homes. The monsoon only makes it worse, as the rain drives more wild animals into the village seeking shelter,” she said.

Efforts to reach the Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) officer and the Panchayat Development Officer (PDO) were unsuccessful, as they remained unresponsive to calls made by TNIE.

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