Tribals run hydroelectric power plant in Orissa

Bodomonjari (Orissa), June 14 : Tribals in Orissa's Koraput district have set up a hydroelectric power station with the help of a self-help group-All India Backward Class Village Development organization here.

"Initially the project was started under the guidance of the organisation but now villagers with their hard work know how to manage the electricity plant.

Now the project belongs to the villagers only," said Hanak Tandi, a member of the project committee.

Today, these tribals are also operating the hydroelectric power station. A committee of 20 villagers has been formed to take care of the management of the project, which generates around 30 kilowatt of electricity out of which villagers currently use 10 kilowatt.

"We provided material like iron, cement and other equipment for the construction of the power plant. The villagers did all the construction work. They did not ask for any wage in return. I believe it is more than Rs. 300,000 now," Tandi added.

"We never thought that electricity would come in our village. We have got many benefits from it. Now with the electricity our kids are able to study," said Madhusudan Tandi, another villager.

Villagers say that previously they were totally dependent on rains for cultivation. But now they get enough water for irrigation from the plant.

Moreover, each family of the village contributes Rs 20 per month for the project management, which is deposited in the bank. The amount will be used to meet the repairing expenses.