IDUKKI: All these years, the villagers of Thazhathotty used to get out of their houses past dusk and look at the little dots of light on the mountains, partly in wonder and partly in frustration, pondering when would they be able to make the switch from kerosene lamps to electric bulbs. On Thursday, men from the nearest KSEB divisional office at Kaliyar reached the village and made it a reality. The move followed last week’s Express report, which brought to light the plight of the residents. And at 6pm, when lights were turned on, they were all seen smiling. Brightly.
Poles were laid one-and-half years ago and the low-income families of Thazhathotty — tucked 400 metres away in the Thommankuthu forest range — had almost given up hope as they had seen governments since Independence turning a blind eye to their request. The Forest Department could not grant permission as rules did not permit laying overhead lines.
They agreed to lay underground cables four months ago, thus clearing the way for electrification, still the residents had to wait for four months. “Our hardship is now over,” said resident Jomon George, 31.“We’re happy to have done it for the residents,” said KSEB Kaliyar division Assistant Engineer Sathish Kumar.