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Electricity for All

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  25 Oct 2017 12:00 AM GMT

Initiatives for electrifying all villages of Assam suffered a low priority for decades. After all, even at the best of times, Assam generated no more than 514 MW of power. Today the State generates about 290 MW even though the population of the State has increased greatly over the last half-a-century. On 15 August 2015, Prime Minister rendra Modi did well to set a target of electrifying all unelectrified villages in the country within 1,000 days, i.e., by 15 May 2018. On the day of the Prime Minister’s announcement, there were 2,892 unelectrified villages in Assam. Now, with about seven months remaining to the deadline, there has been a significant reduction in the number of villages without electricity. According to official data, there are only 330 of them and 24.13 lakh unelectrified rural households in the State. With about 200 days or one-fifth of the time remaining, Assam has maged to reduce the number of unelectrified villages by 2,562. As many as 2,160 villages in Assam were electrified in the last two fiscal years (2015-16 and 2016-17). But till 30 September of 2017-18, only 277 villages have been electrified. It often becomes difficult to accept some of the figures provided in official statements due to the symmetry and rounded figures. Even so, many of the smaller States of the Northeast have maged to do much better than Assam. galand now has only four unelectrified villages with 88,000 unelectrified rural households. [Are there 88,000 households in just four villages?] Mizoram has just 11 unelectrified villages with 11,000 unelectrified rural households. Manipur has 60 unelectrified villages with 1.07 lakh unelectrified rural households. Sikkim has no unelectrified village, but even so there are 5,000 unelectrified rural households. Likewise, Tripura has no unelectrified village, but the number of unelectrified rural households is much larger—2.16 lakh. How is one expected to reconcile the number of unelectrified households with the number of unelectrified villages?

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