REGULATION | Staff Reporter, India

India's full electrification target shrinks by 10 million homes

The government is chasing the full electrification deadline on 31 December.

Bloomberg reports that targets for India's full electrification have shrunk by a quarter, consisting of 10 million homes, as prime minister Narendra Modi's deadline for fulfilling them comes nearer.

According to P.V. Ramesh, chairman of REC Ltd. which implements the programme, on-the-ground surveys of families have chopped off the targets after findings suggest that some have left their villages and migrated to urban areas.

As well, multiple families living under the same roof have been grouped into one household after they agreed to have a common power connection, Ramesh said.

About 72% of the revised number of homes have already received a connection, government data showed. Power minister R.K. Singh noted that India will be able to electrify all households by 31 December.

The next deadline is for 24x7 access to power by 31 March 2019. Completion of the household electrification programme would feature prominently on Modi’s report card ahead of federal elections next year.

However, Modi’s administration has avoided closer scrutiny of the electrification work. Around the time he tweeted a claim that the last village had been connected, access to an online database providing village-level details of the progress stopped showing names of the targeted villages.

Areas were considered electrified if only 10% of its households had power, leaving swathes of rural India still in the dark even as the village-level electrification goal was lauded as a success.

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