Modi govt's electrification drive: Rural India illuminated

Vikas SV

New Delhi, Oct 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised on 15 August 2015 that every village in the country would be electrified within 1,000 days. When Leisang, a tiny village in Manipur, was electrified on April 28, 2018, the Modi government achieved 100% electrification of rural India and it was done in 988 days of making that promise.

Electrification of villages was one of pet iniatives of PM Modi. PM Modi delivered on a key electoral promise that helped him storm into power. Modi's entire campaign for 2014 elections hinged on development and corruption free governance.

Also Read | India doing extremely well on electrification: World Bank

On April 29, Modi tweeted that it would be "remembered as a historic day in the development journey of India."

"Yesterday, we fulfilled a commitment due to which the lives of several Indians will be transformed forever! I am delighted that every single village of India now has access to electricity," the tweet said.

While only around 1,500 villages were electrified at the time of India's independence in 1947, the number reached 481,124 in 1991. According to power ministry report, out of 597,464 census villages, 597,464 villages (100%) have now been electrified.

This, however, does not mean that 100% of the households are electrified. As per the Union power ministry's definition, a village is said to be electrified if at least 10% of the households in it have power connections and if electricity is provided in public places such as schools, panchayat offices, health centres and community centres. Even then, 100% electrification of villages is no mean feat.

Also Read | Modi govt well ahead of schedule in rural electrification drive

From electrification of villages to making India a power surplus country, the power ministry, under the BJP government, has been unwavering in its endeavour to light up the nation. It would not be wrong to say that power ministry has been one of the top performing ministries of the Modi government.

Under the BJP government, India, for the first time in the history, became a power surplus country. This was ahceived by creating a synergy between the different power related ministries- Power, Coal and New Renewables - and make them work in tandem with each other.

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