The Narendra Modi-led government has achieved its target of getting all villages electrifying all Indian villages. It is a way forward and a historic moment as the government claims that Leisang village in the Senapati district of Manipur was the last village to be brought on the national power grid. In 2014, the government had promised to bring electricity to every citizen.
Taking note if this achievement, PM Narendra Modi had tweeted, “28th April 2018 will be remembered as a historic day in the development journey of India. Yesterday, we fulfilled a commitment due to which the lives of several Indians will be transformed forever! I am delighted that every single village of India now has access to electricity.”
Further, according to the FE, the rural electrification took the centre stage, which included connecting more than 18,000 villages by the April-18. Government data reveals that all of India’s 597,464 census villages have been electrified. Notably, after the Narendra Modi-led government assumed charge in 2014, there were 18,452 un-electrified census villages. There were various challenges too, as it was found that an additional 1275 villages also didn’t have electricity access.
While, this might be a major milestone achieved by the NaMO Government, a Bloomberg report predicted that there are 32 MN homes still left in the dark: as the government deems a village “electrified” if 10 percent of its households, as well as public places such as schools and health centers, have access to electricity. Accordingly, while all villages have ‘access’ to power, less than 8 percent of the newly electrified villages had all homes electrified, the data showed, leaving swaths of rural India without power, which can hinder economic growth, basic health care and education.
The government recognizes that more needs to be done hence, the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) for Rs 7,5893 crore is being termed as a game changer moment seeks to achieve universal electricity access.
The government has also planned to invest $2.5 billion to provide power connections to nearly every household by the end of March 2019, just a few weeks shy of general elections. Although, a recent Bloomberg report revealed that about 13 percent of the almost 36.8 million homes identified in October as needing power, citing government data. The agency stated that the government needs to speed up its pace by three times if it needs to meet its target.