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It was a major historic moment for the Narendra Modi-led government as all Indian villages now have been brought on the power map of the country, thus achieving the commitment of electrifying all Indian villages. Leisang village in the Senapati district of Manipur was the last village to be electrified. While taking a note of the development, PM Narendra Modi tweeted, “28th April 2018 will be remembered as a historic day in the development journey of India. 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.”
The plan of rural electrification included connecting more than 18,000 villages by the April-18. Government data shows 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.
However, a Bloomberg report states that almost 32 million homes are still left in the dark as according to Central Electricity Authority (CEA), a village is now considered electrified only if the Gram Panchayat certifies that the basic infrastructure has been provided to the inhabited area, including Dalit hamlets, and 10 percent of the households are electrified. Though all villages are electrified, only 8 percent of the newly electrified villages have full electricity connections. That means, 92 percent of the houses in the electrified villages have no power.
Even though the villages are electrified; the quality of supply is still an issue. In this context, International Energy Agency says, “In the broader context, any electrification plan, especially for poor people, needs to be sustainable and needs to be affordable for both households and governments.”
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