Rural Electricity in India

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The Aim of the previous Govt. was : Every village to be provided electricity; remaining 1,25,000 villages to be covered by 2009; 2.3 crore below poverty- line households to be connected. HOW Much we could Perform?: By December 2008, only 17.95% of targeted rural households electrified. Of the targeted villages, only 52% electrified.

The actual number of households without electricity is about 8.4 crore. However, instead of the State Electricity Boards, the responsibility for all this now lies with a combination of undefined NGO’s, Panchayats and local franchises.

Bharat Nirman only provides the funds through the Rural Electrification Corporation. Without a physical institution, this motley crowd of agencies cannot be held accountable for failing to fulfill the promises of rural electrification.

The change of responsibility from the state utilities to undefined entities for rural electrification is the result of the electricity Act 2003, pushed through despite the Left’s opposition. In order to privatise distribution, the Act took loss making rural areas (with lower density of population and therefore higher cost of delivery) out of the responsibility of the new distribution companies.

The Left Parties have always insisted on changes in the Electricity Act to make rural electrification a state sector priority. Now the things will move in a different direction
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