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Unlike yesteryear, hotbed of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region would no longer plunge into darkness. The state government had set up a power substation in Mahupal village of Bastar district to ensure uninterrupted power supply. The substation set up for power supply in the region, infamous across the globe for Naxal violence, is the third biggest substation in the state. “I had committed to prepare a network that would ensure Bastar always remained illuminated,” Chief Minister Raman Singh said. The commitment stands fulfilled as the 400/200 KV power station set up in Bastar with an estimated cost of Rs 663 crore would help the region to get rid of darkness, he added. The state government started working on the project after the region was plunged into darkness in June 2007 when rebels blew three high tension electricity towers in Jharghati of Narayanpur district.
Normal life in the entire region came to a standstill for almost 12 days before the supply was restored.Since there was no other optional power station to restore the supply, hospitals in the Bastar region also remained in dark for days. The mining, industrial and commercial activities had also come to a standstill. About 2.7 million people were affected. “With the installation of a powerful power station in Bastar, not a single village in the region would now remain without electricity in next 6 months,” Singh said. The total electrification in Bastar region would be a big leap forward in the on-going operation against the Left Wing Extremists. It would expedite the infrastructure development projects while the strengthening of communication network would help the security agencies combating the red army.