Electrification

Waiting for light

Print edition : October 27, 2017
The government’s latest scheme to achieve universal household electrification is high on ambition and sets impractical targets.

WITH the launch, in September, of the Saubhagya scheme, a Rs.16,320-crore project aimed at providing electricity to all willing households, the Narendra Modi regime has once again brought into focus the enormity of the task of bringing power to every household in the country and the progress the government has made so far.

Statistics from the Rural Electrification Corporation show that the targeted number of households is around 4.04 crore, with Uttar Pradesh alone accounting for more than 1.46 crore (nearly 40 per cent). Other States with a high number of households without power are Rajasthan (above 20 lakh), Assam (above 24 lakh), Jharkhand (above 30 lakh), Odisha (above 32 lakh), Madhya Pradesh (nearly 45 lakh) and Bihar (above 64 lakh). As per latest data available, only about 23 per cent of the target (25.87 lakh households) has been met.

However, the website also says that the rural electrification target aims to bring power to 18,452 villages and that the government has already achieved 79 per cent of the target (14,564).

The disparity in the percentages stems from the official definition of an electrified village: as per law, the government can declare a village as electrified if just 10 per cent of the households have been given electrical connections.

According to Central Electricity Authority data, the power supply position in the country has been improving over the past eight years, with the gap between requirement and availability steadily coming down from 10.1 per cent in 2009-10 to 0.7 per cent in 2016-17.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

The COVID-19-induced lockdown and the absolute necessity for human beings to maintain a physical distance from one another in order to contain the pandemic has changed our lives in unimaginable ways. The print medium all over the world is no exception.

As the distribution of printed copies is unlikely to resume any time soon, Frontline will come to you only through the digital platform until the return of normality. The resources needed to keep up the good work that Frontline has been doing for the past 35 years and more are immense. It is a long journey indeed. Readers who have been part of this journey are our source of strength.

Subscribing to the online edition, I am confident, will make it mutually beneficial.

Sincerely,

R. Vijaya Sankar

Editor, Frontline

Support Quality Journalism

MEDIA

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
×