Letter to BS: Modi govt meets electrification target of 18000 villages

Pat Wise
May 1, 2018

But some people have said in response to Modi's tweet that their villages, around the country, are not connected to the grid, despite government claims.

Electricity has reached every Indian village after the establishment of a connection at the weekend to Leisang, a tiny hamlet in the remote state of Manipur, the government has announced.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have made a decision to issue "strategic guidance" to their militaries to strengthen communication in order to build trust and mutual understanding, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said on Saturday. "This news will make every Indian proud and delighted", he said. One may recall that Narendra Modi had promised to electrify all un-electrified villages within 1,000 days on his Independence Day address on 15 August 2015.

As many as 18,452 villages were without electricity when the BJP-led government came to power in May 2014.

The government deems a village to be electrified if a power transformer is in place there and if 10 per cent of the houses are connected to the grid.

"We must deal with differences in a more mature manner; we must strengthen coordination and cooperation in global and regional affairs and drive regional economic integration and interconnection", Xi said.

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India, despite its rapid strides in industrialisation, has been hampered by the lack of cent percent electrification in rural areas. Today, all of the country's 597,464 census villages have been electrified. "This is - "celebrating inefficiencies" & taking "fake credit" for Congress work", he said on Sunday. Out of 18,452 villages without access to power three years ago, 17,181 have been electrified. So, the government should aim to take electricity to every household. The government had refused for years to connect the village to the grid because it is legally considered to be on forest land, he said.

The Modi government's flagship Deendayal Upadhyaya Grameen Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) has also focused on what it calls "intensive electrification". During UPA (2004-14), Congress electrified 1,07,600 villages.

"There was a definition in the past, and we are not going to be changing it", Mr. Verma said. Leisang became the last Indian village to get access to electricity.

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".

Access to electricity varies across the country as well.

The Communist giant was also trying to spread its influence " in India's neighbouring countries such as the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar, it said.

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