The country achieved 100 per cent village electrification yesterday (28 April) as the last remaining un-electrified village, Leisang in Senapati district of Manipur, was connected to the national power grid, as reported by Mint.
The achievement comes several days before the 10 May 2018 deadline set by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi, who had pledged in his Independence Day speech in 2015 that all Indian villages will get power within the next 1000 days.
The milestone has been reached as the NDA government is about to complete four years of its term at the outset of which 18,452 villages in the country were un-electrified. All these villages are now either connected to the power grid or have been powered through alternate sources.
The Power Ministry under then Power Minister Piyush Goyal had launched the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) for meeting the aim of complete village electrification and the state run Rural Electrification corporation (REC) was tasked with executing the scheme.
Although 100 per cent village electrification has been achieved, universal access to electricity is still distant with household electrification slowly becoming the buzzword. In India, a village is termed as electrified if it meets the following three criteria,
– Basic infrastructure such as distribution transformer and distribution lines are provided in the inhabited locality
– Electricity is provided to public places like schools, panchayat offices, health centers etc.
– The number of households electrified should be at least 10 per cent of the total number of households in the village.
Keeping in mind that just 10 per cent of household electrification is enough to deem a village electrified, the Modi government has now launched the Saubhagya scheme to achieve 100 per cent household electrification by December 2018.