5 years on, Pakistani Hindu refugees at Majnu Ka Tilla await electricity connection

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New Delhi, May 18 (PTI) It has nearly been five years since they were given asylum and settled here at Majnu Ka Tilla, and nearly year-and-a-half since the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act, but a group of Hindu families from Pakistan still await basic amenities such as electricity for the lack of an Indian identity.

Settled behind the Majnu Ka Tilla gurudwara, the community of some 700 people has largely remained unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic and has received vaccination for people over 45 years of age.

However, getting an electric connection remains elusive to the refugee community, who claim to have written to the state and central government for a solution.

'We have written to every possible person. Our application is with the DM, SDM and other authorities concerned, but we are told that getting a connection is difficult since we don't have Indian citizenship,' complained Sona Das, the community chief or 'Pradhan'.

Without electricity, mosquitoes are an added nuisance on top of the Delhi heat.

'Living next to the Yamuna river and without electricity, we are drowning in mosquitoes. The situation is so bad that when we are eating in the dark, we end up eating some mosquitoes with our food,' Das told PTI.

Tata Power-DDL claimed that despite having an approved proposal for a Single Point Deliver (SPD) scheme to offer connections, it did not receive any amount from the authorities.

'In this regard, a proposal of Rs 6.58 lakhs was also submitted to DM Central and the Social Welfare Minister, Govt Of Delhi. The in-principle approval was also granted by the DM Central on the proposed scheme at that time.

'However, the amount has not been released by the authorities till date. We will issue the connections as soon as the amount, as per the current revised charges, is paid for the SPD connection by the DM Central,' a Tata Power-DDL spokesperson told PTI.

Das, the refugee community chief, added, 'We have water, and medical facility is nearby. We have also received vaccination for 45+ people and there were hardly three-four cases of COVID-19 last year. We have been fortunate otherwise.' The refugees, he claimed, also received ration from the Delhi government.

'For now, electricity is our only concern,' Das said.

'I have 100-year-old parents. There are children and pregnant women among us. Living without electricity and so many mosquitoes can harm them in so many ways,' Das rued. PTI MAH VIT MAH TIR TIR

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