While on paper the Indian Government has been positioned as a protagonist for many a villages as it has claimed to illuminate their dark dwellings, reality is not a very pleasant ground. Ambiguity in terms of definition of electrification has further left villagers confused on their present state of development as many villages continue to receive electricity through illegal sources.
MythsBuster – B.Kaur
Few of the worst affected areas in India are that of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra. Despite the lofty claims of the Uttarakhand Power Corporation Ltd. (UPCL) to lighten up its rural territories, not much progress has been witnessed as more than 70 villages in the state still await power supply. Even as new electric poles get erected and new electrification infrastructure is set up, they remain bereft of power supply, mocking the promised light. While talks of the unbelievable benefits of solar, hydel and wind energy are gaining ground across the nation, the very basic infrastructure needed to support these free sources of power are absconding! One such village, which recently came into public notice, symbolizing the country’s dilapidated electrification system, is that of Nagla Fatela in Bihar. Gaining severe speculation and prominence post PM Modi’s Independence Day speech, where it was wrongly referred to as an electrified example.
With the Modi Governments promise of bringing in electricity to 18,000 villages in 1000 days and providing 24×7 hours of electricity to all households, not much support can be seen to be extended by the state government to work along the same lines as it lags behind in coming up with metered connections and an efficient distribution of power supply across the rural households. Another major reason suggested by the state governments is the inadequate funding provided by the Union.
Despite such gloomy state of affairs, India and its villages continue to be hopeful as some positive initiatives by the government manage to successfully cut across the darkness of its land. Initiatives such as conducting on field probe and verification of villages which the state governments have declared as electrified; in order to evaluate the proper use of the funds sanctioned for rural electrification by the Centre. The launch of GARV (Grameen Vidyutikaran) is another such bold initiative by the Union, which provides details of metering, supply and outages in each of the households within a state, thereby monitoring the optimum utilization of funds allocated by the Centre.