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Village electrification definition has lost relevance: Centre

On Saturday evening, Leisang village in Manipur's Senapati district became the last village to be connected to the national power grid.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 1, 2018 9:52:32 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced that all villages in India have been connected with power. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced that all villages in India have been connected with power.

The definition of village electrification is a legacy issue and does not reflect the actual level of success attained on ground, Union Power Ministry said in a statement on Monday. While declaring that more than 80 per cent of the rural households now had electricity connection, the government said it had achieved more than the required 10 percent target for a village to be declared electrified.

“Definition of village electrification is a legacy issue which, though, mandates electrification of at least 10 per cent households in a village,” the statement said.

“As per recent reports from the states, household electrification level in rural areas is more than 82 per cent, ranging from 47 to 100 per cent across various states. Had the definition been cause, such level of household electrification could not have been achieved,” it added.

Read | Piyush Goyal: Nothing fake about NASA images on India’s rural electrification

The ministry also said that the variation in the level of household electrification across various regions and states is primarily because of differences in “size, heterogeneity in terms of topography, location, resources and also because of varying efforts made by the states”.

“The government has already moved out of this dichotomy and launched the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) to achieve universal household electrification in the country by December 31, 2018. Therefore, the debate over definition of village electrification in the present scenario has lost significance,” it said.

The statement by the ministry came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that all villages in India have been connected with power. On Saturday evening, Leisang village in Manipur’s Senapati district became the last village to be connected to the national power grid.

As per government data, 1,236 villages are uninhabited and 35 have been notified as grazing reserves.

However, reacting to BJP’s claims, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that it was the Congress that electrified 97 per cent of villages in the country but “did not boast”. “On 26th May,2014; only 18,452 villages were without electrification. BJP Govt took 46 months to complete this at at an average of 4,813 villages per year. This is – ‘celebrating inefficiencies’ & taking ‘fake credit’ for Congress work,” he said on Sunday.

(With inputs from IANS)

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