Electrified all villages, claims modi; rahul says yet another lie updates business standard news electricity history facts

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Does everyone in India now have access to electricity, finally? Going by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent announcement that all villages in the country have been connected with electricity, one might be inclined to believe so. Modi’s tweet announcing the achievement came after a Manipur village on Saturday evening became the last of the country’s 18,452 villages without electricity at the ‘time Modi took office in May 2014 to be connected to the national power grid. However, 30.6 million rural households in the country are yet to receive a power connection.

Countering Modi’s claim, the Congress on Sunday said the government was celebrating inefficiencies and taking credit for the work done by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. The prime minister and his government have not overtly claimed that all Indians have been provided access to electricty under their rule. However, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted, "Dear Amit Shah ji, India has 649,867 villages. Congress connected 97 per cent with electricity…."

The government has set the next target of providing electricity connections to over 40 million (4 crore) rural and urban households by March 2019 under the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) initiative. Here are all the facts that you need to know about rural electrification and electricity for all in India:

1) Chidambaram calls Modi govt claim of 100% electrification ‘complete jumla ‘: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim of achieving 100 per cent village electrification is a "complete jumla" and accused him of taking credit for work done by the previous regimes.

"Its like somebody makes the ice cream puts it in a cup, someone comes and puts a cherry on it and says I made this ice cream. He comes in, electrifies last 18000 villages and says that its a great achievement of my government. I have electrified all the villages," the Congress leader said.

2) Govt’s electrification claim ‘yet another lie’, says Rahul Gandhi: Yet another lie," Gandhi tweeted, and attached a news report which claimed that the reality on ground was different than the government’s claim that all villages in the country had been electrified.

Congress communications incharge Randeep Surjewala said this government was celebrating its inefficiencies and taking "fake credit" for the work done by the previous Congress governments as only 18,452 villages were without electrification when this government came to power.

Dear Modiji, On 26th May, 2014; only 18,452 villages were without electrification. BJP government took 46 months to complete this at an average of 4,813 villages per year. This is – celebrating inefficiencies’ and taking fake credit’ for Congress work, Surjewala tweeted.

3) Last Indian village without electricity connected to national power grid: Leisang village in Manipur’s Senapati district on Saturday evening became the last village in the country to be connected to the national power grid. According to official data, there were 18,452 villages without electricity in the country at the time of Modi taking office in May 2014. "Electricity reached all Indian villages on Saturday," Modi said in a tweet. "Yesterday, we fulfilled a commitment due to which the lives of several Indians will be transformed forever!" he said in another tweet.

4) Less than 8% of the newly electrified villages have electricity in all homes: However, despite this achievement, millions of homes are still in the dark. As explained by a recent Bloomberg report, the Indian government considers a village "electrified" if 10 per cent of its households, along with public places like schools and health centres, are connected. Further, according to the report, data showed that as of April 26, 2018, less than eight per cent of the newly electrified villages had all homes electrified.

5) Modi govt needs to accelerate its pace more than threefold: Government data from last week showed the country had electrified close to 13 per cent of the almost 36.8 million homes identified in October as needing power, the Bloomberg report said. For the Modi government, meeting its next deadline will not be easy. According to the report, it has to increase its monthly pace of connecting households by more than threefold. "I’m sceptical that the government would be able to electrify all the households by 2019. It’s going to take many more years after that," Johannes Urpelainen, a professor of energy and resources at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C., told the international news agency.

6) 30.6 million rural households without electricity in India: The target of 100 per cent electrification in all rural households, along with metering them for steady and reliable power supply, is still to be achieved, as reported earlier by Business Standard. Of the 170 million rural households in the country, government data show 82 per cent of them are connected. Metered households constitute 50 per cent of the total. This translates to 30.6 million rural households without electricity in the country. Further, only 85 million rural households in India are metered. For instance, in UP, 50 per cent of the households are metered. In Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, it is zero. ALSO READ: Maharashtra’s tribal village gets electricity after 70 years of independence

7) Over 36% villages still don’t have power in all households: Of the 780,000 villages in which power connection was to be provided to all households, 493,000, or 63.20 per cent, have been covered as of February this year, according to the Business Standard report.

ALSO READ: School where Kalam studied goes without electricity 8) Congress says Modi taking credit for its achievement: Countering Modi’s claim, Congress said the government was celebrating inefficiencies and taking credit for the work done by the UPA government. "Dear Amit Shahji, India has 6,49,867 villages. Congress connected 97 per cent with electricity. During UPA (2004-14), Congress electrified 1,07,600 villages. In 60 years, Congress average is electrifying 10,000 villages per year. Congress created #PowerfulIndia but didn’t boast," said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala in a tweet directed to the BJP President. "Dear Modiji/Piyushji (Railway minister Piyush Goyal), on May 26, 2014, only 18,452 villages were without electrification. BJP government took 46 months to complete this at at an average of 4,813 villages per year. This is – ‘celebrating inefficiencies‘ and taking ‘fake credit’ for Congress work," he said in further tweets.