Army illuminates border village with solar lights in J&K’s Poonch

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Mendhar/Jammu: Located just 600 meters from the Line of Control (LoC), the Dabbi village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district comes alive after dusk, thanks to the army which has installed solar-powered lights to provide succour to the villagers.

The project was undertaken under operation ‘Sadhbhavana’ (goodwill) and was completed in a short period, an army official said.

Dabbi village in Balakote tehsil of Mendhar Sub-division is one of the worst affected villages by the cross-border shelling over the years and lacked street lights.

To improve the living conditions in Dabbi village, solar-powered lights were installed in areas frequented by locals to further augment the electrification process of their village, the official said.

He said that the initiative of the Army to illuminate Dabbi village with solar lights to alleviate living conditions has resulted in 19 households and 129 villagers getting access to reliable street lights.

The residents now have uninterrupted lighting in the majority of the area including near the local masjid, a shrine, a school and a track leading to their animal ‘dhoks’ (sheds).

Moreover, the provision of lights has allowed for the establishment of community spaces, fostering social cohesion, the official said.

He said the effort by the Army allows families to function efficiently at night.

“This project under military civic action has yielded dividends to the people illuminating hope, paving the way for a brighter and more prosperous future for the village.”

The villagers praised the army for the initiative and said the solar lights had not only illuminated their village but also lit up their lives.

“It was very difficult for the people to move around during night hours, especially when it was raining. We are very thankful to the army for installing solar lights and illuminating the village to make it easy for the people to attend prayers without any trouble,” Imam Mohd Sarfaraz told PTI.

He said the village also needs proper road connectivity as it becomes very difficult at times to shift a patient to the hospital for treatment.

Village Lamberdar (head) of Dabbi, Kazim Iqbal Khan said their village is one of the last villages in the country. They were not provided with street lights by the Power Development Department.

“Army has always been helpful to us and by providing solar lights, the mobility during the night hours has become easy now,” he said.

The army officer said the Sadhbhavana is a flagship program of the Army to address the aspirations and to improve the quality of life of the people of border villages.

“Key areas for placing of solar lights were identified in consultation with locals which included visiting houses in the village, transportation of apparatus of solar lights, batteries to remote locations including the farthest house of the village at 400 meters from the LoC and also spreading awareness of the use of sustainable energy at the village level,” he said.

He said the initiative also places a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability by leveraging the potential of solar energy to address reliable lighting.

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