For Last Village Along LoC In Kashmir, A First This Independence Day

Located on banks of river Kishan Ganga, Keran is cut off from Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district for almost six months every year because of its harsh winters.

For Last Village Along LoC In Kashmir, A First This Independence Day

Keran village with 12,000 families had electricity only for three hours in the evening.

New Delhi:

For the first time since Independence, the last village along the Line of Control in north Kashmir will be able to watch the Prime Minister's 15th August speech live from the Red Fort.

For the last 72 years, Keran village with 12,000 families had electricity only for three hours in the evening between 6 and 9 pm via a diesel generator set. This is the first time they will have electricity in the morning on Independence Day.

A power grid that reaches the village has not only provided them with electricity for 24 hours but also has rid the residents of noise and pollution.

"Since last one year we had put the work of electrification of this border area on mission mode and now we have accomplished our goal," Kupwara District Collector Anshul Garg told NDTV.

Electrification is not the only project that the local administration has taken up. Even roads are being improved.

Located on banks of river Kishan Ganga, Keran is cut off from Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district for almost six months every year because of its harsh winters.

"This year, BRO (Border Roads Organisation) has given a task to complete macadamised roads before winter sets in," Mr Garg, a young 2013-batch officer, said.

Kupwara shares a 170 km of the Line of Control with Pakistan and is known for its infiltration routes.

It has five assembly segments and 356 panchayats. "In all, elections in this region registers the highest turnout in voting," a senior officer of Jammu and Kashmir administration said.

According to the Home Ministry, not just the border district but the newly-designated union territory has seen a lot of development in the last one year.

The Jammu and Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFC) projects that have were languishing for a decade have been revived, the government claims.

According to the Home Ministry, 2,273 projects worth Rs 5,979 crore have been sanctioned out of which 506 projects have been completed and 963 would be completed by March 2021.

"The centre has released Rs 1,400 crore as 14th Finance Commissions grants which were withheld for more than three years," said Sheetal Nanda, Secretary (Rural Development- Jammu Kashmir).

According to her, Rs 65 crore has been sanctioned by centre under mid-day meal scheme. "Joint accounts have been set up now in names of village heads or sarpanches and heads of school to avoid any controversy," she said.

The Home Ministry says that sarpanches have also started making payments for the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act or MGNREGA scheme under which Rs 1,000 crore has been released by the centre.

The government has also sanctioned plans to construct 100 new panchayat offices and repair another 100, many of which were destroyed in the violence that erupted in the state following the killing of terrorist Burhan Wani.