Villages in India across many states do not have access to electricity; the government’s Universal Electrification Program requires evaluation of its capacity to give electricity to all households in the country.
An important requirement of hospitals, industries, schools and households is the accessibility to 24/7 electricity. In an important development it has been reported that the country’s 597,464 inhabited villages have joined the mainline electricity supply.
In 2015 the Prime Minister had announced that all the villages where electricity has not been supplied will be allotted electricity supply within next 1,000 days. It has to be noted that the basic infrastructure is in place but it is significant that every household gets electricity. A village is considered to be electrified merely if 10% of households and public places like schools, panchayat office and health centres have access to electricity but to actually build an infrastructure where every household gets electricity is an issue that the government needs to build on. It is a distant aspiration for the nation to build universal electrification. There is the issue of ensuring uninterrupted power supply.
The website of the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana, in December 2017 just six states had 24-hour power supply to rural areas of the country. Other issues include crisis of coal for power generation. Connecting all villages to the electricity grid is a big endeavour. Village electrification is not simultaneous width household electrification. It is only when the latter is achieved universally that other development initiatives like universal schooling, healthcare and digital connectivity and e-governance can be realised. The government still has a long way to go before each village is enabled to have electric it.