“Leisang village in Manipur, like the thousands of other villages across India has been powered and empowered! This news will make every Indian proud and delighted.” “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,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in two different tweets, after India achieved target, set by the Prime Minister (PM) himself, 12 days ahead of the deadline of electrifying all its villages more than seven decades after independence.
- Modi had in his Independence Day speech in 2015, spoken of electrifying all villages within 1000 days.
- As many as 18452 villages were without electricity when the BJP-led government came to power in May 2014. An additional 1275 villages were added to the list subsequently.
- Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) with an outlay of Rs 76000 crore, as version of the village electrification scheme, was launched by the PM on July 25, 2015 in Patna as one of the flagship programmes of the Ministry of Power to facilitate 24×7 supplies of power to rural households and adequate power to agricultural consumers.
- DDUGJY of the Union Government drew its inspiration from the similar pioneering scheme implemented by the Government of Gujarat.
- DDUGJY enabled to initiate much awaited reforms in the rural areas, with focus on feeder separation for rural households & agricultural and strengthening of sub-transmission & distribution infrastructure including metering at all levels in rural areas.
- The task took 988 days to complete as an average of 16 and a half villages were electrified every day.
- As on April 28, 2018 all of the country’s 597464 census villages have been electrified.
- Electrified Village means the village is connected to power grid.
- It essentially does not mean that all its habitants have access to electricity.
- A village is considered electrified if it has the basic electrical infrastructure and 10% of its households and public places have power, as per the Central government guidelines dated February 17, 2004.
- Access to electricity is, however, not there in about 3.14 crore rural households, or 17% of total 17.99 crore rural households, as per official estimates.
- Most of the remaining villages are located in remote and inaccessible areas with difficult hilly terrain, deep forest areas, Left Wing Extremism affected areas.
- Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand and Odisha top the list of rural households that still do not have any access to electricity.
- Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana or the Saubhagya Scheme has been launched by the Prime Minister on September 25, 2017to ensure electrification of all willing households in the country in rural as well as urban areas by the 31st of December 2018.
- Saubhagya with an outlay of Rs 16320 crore will provide last mile connectivity and service connections to all remaining households in both rural and urban areas to achieve universal household electrification.
- Saubhagya will cover all the remaining households including located in the habitations/hamlets/Dhanis/Majras/Tolas associated with the Census villages and households attached to urban settlements.
“I salute the efforts of all those who worked tirelessly on the ground, including the team of officials, the technical staff and all others, to make this dream of a #PowerfulIndia a reality. Their efforts today will help generations of Indians in the coming years,” Modi said in another tweet.
India crossing the historic milestone by reaching electricity cables to its last un-electrified village in Manipur on April 28, 2018 is really commendable. With India’s 100% village electrification the economic prospects and quality of life of millions of Indians will improve as the electricity has transformed societies and economies the world over.