Indian PM: All villages in country have access to electricity

Danny Woods
May 1, 2018

"28th April 2018 will be remembered as a historic day in the development journey of India", wrote the PM.

The government has started supplying electricity to every village in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced, a tall achievement that now shifts attention towards improving the quality of supply and connecting every household to the grid. With this, every village in India has access to electricity, officially. It essentially does not mean that all its habitats have access to electricity. State distribution companies were saddled with accumulated debts of nearly 4.1 trillion rupees ($61.7 billion) as of March 2015, according to the power ministry's latest annual report.

BJP leader and current Minister of Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal, who was at the helm of the power ministry between 2014 and 2017, tweeted to express his contentment.

But the numbers behind Mr Modi's electrification thrust tell a different story. This scheme drew from Modi's successful experiment as Gujarat chief minister to separate farm and household feeders in rural areas to ensure 24×7 power to households and assured supply to farmers. Em'power'ing village (r) s is like empowering the whole of India.

The Congress hit back and its chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted: "Dear Amit Shahji, India has 6,49,867 villages". In 60 years, the Congress average is electrifying 10,000 villages per year.

More news: NRA Says Guns Will Be Banned During Convention Speech

"As for whether India accepts the expression Belt and Road, I think it is not important and China will not be too hard on it", he said. "Also, most of the remaining villages are not densely populated", said Himangshu, professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University here. Another social media user, Dilip Gupta, cited Allipur, his remote village in Uttar Pradesh, saying that the grid "hasn't arrived yet". Indian newspaper Business Standard reports that 30.6 million rural homes are still without electricity.

The Indian government considers a village to be electrified if basic infrastructure such as schools are connected to the grid as well as at least 10% of households.

Abhishek Jain, a senior researcher at the think tank Council on Energy, Environment & Water, said that conditions in villages have not changed despite the government's announcement. According to official data, there were 18,452 villages without electricity in the country at the time of Modi taking office in May 2014. His dream is to make electricity available to the poorest of poor across the country. Prosperous states like Gujarat, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been able to wire almost every house to the grid. But the challenge will be steep.

"We achieved 100 percent rural electrification 13 days ahead of the deadline".

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

Discuss This Article