Electrification of Every Indian Village

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Government of India is boasting of this unique achievement of providing electricity in all the 597464 villages in India, after electrification of the last Village Leisangin Manipur. Government of India happily announced that each and every village in India has been provided with electricity on 28th of April, 2018. Government had launched the scheme of electrification on 25th July, 2015 and announced by the Prime Minister on 15th August, 2015 while unfurling National Flag at Red Fort in Delhi to complete the same within 1000 days of the remaining villages as on 15th August, 2015.

A village is said to be electrified if 10% of the households hold electric connections. Till the UPA Government was in power, electrification was complete in 579012 number of villages and 18452 villages were remaining which NDA Government had targeted to be electrified. But it is also to be mentioned that the villages where electrification was yet to be done were the difficult areas and the work was to be completed within 1000 days.

Whereas today’s condition is that there are numerous power cuts, announced or unannounced because demand of power is increasing day by day but the supply or we may consider generation is far lessor then the demand so the authorities are resorting to power cuts.

Responsibility of the Government starts after the total electrification, where each and every household, and even the industry has to be given connection, uninterrupted power supply, strengthening of distribution system, metering at all levels, setting up of off-grid distribution network and micro grid network.

Most of the work has to be done now like:

  • Supply of the power has to be equated in line with the increasing demand of power, which will result in the situation of ‘No Power Cuts’ as at present only 85% of the demand is met in the peak season and 93% in the non-peak season by the state electricity boards and other power generating authorities.
  • Power from the surplus states is to be distributed to the states where power demand is more than the supply either through IEX exchange or through other regulatory authorities.
  • If idle power plants are revived, these power plants may also help in the addition to the generation of electricity. It has been an open fact that if power projects financed by Indian Banks are revived where Rs.1.77 Lakh Crores has been struck, a potential installed capacity of 75000Mw will become live of which 85-90% of the plants may generate power. It is the matter of restructuring of NPAs and stressed accounts. If re-signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) with state electricity boards (SEBs) is done at the behest of government pressure and RBI, every stressed power plant can turn into a power generating unit again.
  • Power generation to unconventional sources can also add to the national kitty like Solar Power where the Government has set a target of adding 20Gw of power through Solar Power Generation.
  • It has been a matter of concern that the cost of generation and distribution of power is not more than Rs.2/- to Rs.3/- per unit and most of the SEBs have been selling power at an average rate of Rs.8/- to Rs.9/- per unit. Inspite of the good margin in the cost and the selling price, SEBs have been running at loss and either State Government or the Centre has to assist the SEBs. Inefficient system is responsible for this poor show. This has to be improved considerably.
  • State Electricity Boards (SEBs) are running on losses which can only run if respective State Governments help to strengthen SEBs. UjwalDiscom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) was launched to strengthen SEBs. Strengthening of SEBs is necessary because SEBs have to organize to install poles, extend lines in the villages, so that the electricity reaches each home.

System efficiency shall have to be improved if benefits of 100 percent electrification are to be reaped. India can only prosper if masses are benefitted from the work done by the Government in total.

Taking the credit to 100% electrify all villages is very easy by the ruling party for work done and opposition criticising the Government for just propagating this facts of only the last 3 years and not highlighting the work done by the previous governments in the last 67 years.

But the Government’s task is to ensure electrification in full with uninterrupted supply, no breakdowns and maintaining the same to the satisfaction of the masses in general.

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