Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that India has achieved its goal of connecting all its towns and villages to the grid, hence electrifying the whole subcontinent. Declaring this huge achievement on Sunday, 28 March the PM also commented that the goal was achieved 12 days prior to the deadline, which itself is an accomplishment in itself.
According to the announcement the last village to be connected to the grid is a very remote village in Northern India. The connection was completed on the evening of 28th March, Sunday. Modi declared this through his Twitter handle on which various ministers of his government took to social media to congratulate him. According to the Prime Minister, this day will be forever remembered as a “historic day in the development journey of India”.
Government data shows that all of India’s 597,464 are now connected to electricity. In 2014, when Narendra Modi took over the Prime Minister’s office about 18,452 villages were yet to be connected to the grid. The achievement of 100% electrification of India is believed to be beneficial and a boost to the ruling party, BJP, ahead of the 2019 General elections.
But even though the government have announced that all villages of the country now have electricity connection, many people have claimed this statement to be false and that there are still many remote parts of the country where people are yet to get the benefits of electricity. It still is a distant luxury for them.
Also, only because the government have declared that all villages are now connected to the grid doesn’t mean that people of those particular villages have access to power. The terms under which the government considers a village to be electrified are very peculiar.
The government considers a village to be electrified if it has a basic electrical infrastructure and only 10% of its households and public places like schools, health care centres etc have electricity connection. Now, can we really call this an achievement of 100% electrification?
I believe the terms are very vague and the declaration only a publicity stunt for the upcoming elections. Although the government has done some work towards extending electric connections to the remote villages, achieving 100% success seems quite impossible in this limited period of time in such a vast country like India. Also, the comments of many people on various social media platforms prove this.