A day after the Centre announced that all villages in India have been connected with power, the government on Monday said the definition of village electrification — of connecting at least 10% households in it — had lost relevance in view of the actual levels of electrification achieved.
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A Union Power Ministry release said the average actual household electrification level in rural areas is more than 82% with variations across states.
"Definition of village electrification is a legacy issue which, though, mandates electrification of at least 10% households in a village," it said.
"As per recent reports from the states, household electrification level in rural areas is more than 82%, ranging from 47 to 100% across various states. Had the definition been cause, such level of household electrification could not have been achieved."
The Ministry said the variation in the level of household electrification across various regions and states is primarily because of differences in "size, heterogeneity in terms of topography, location, resources and also because of varying efforts made by the states".
"The government has already moved out of this dichotomy and launched the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) to achieve universal household electrification in the country by December 31, 2018. Therefore, the debate over definition of village electrification in the present scenario has lost significance," it said.
All villages in India have now been connected with electricity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Sunday.
On Saturday evening, Leisang village in Manipur's Senapati district became the last village to be connected to the national power grid.
The work of bringing power to India's nearly 6 lakh villages had been undertaken under the government's Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana.
As per government data, 1,236 villages are uninhabited and 35 have been notified as grazing reserves.
First Published: IST