WORLD Bank Thumps Up India’s Electricity Program

THE World Bank has appreciated India’s performance in electrification program as extremely well between 2010 and 2016.Releasining the report simultaneously in Delhi and Washington DC, its headquarters, World Banks says during the period 85 per cent of the country’s population have been provided access to electricity.  Obviously, The 72 years old international banker with 189 countries as its members has not or could not record India’s achievement in this sphere after 2016.PM Narendra Modi has accorded much higher priority than his predecessors to develop and utilize non-conventional energy including harnessing solar and wind power. Between 2010 and 2016, India provided electricity to 30 million people each year, more than any other country. However, challenge still remains to ensure electricity to the remaining 15 per cent of the 1.25 plus billion populations. Undoubtedly, India is all set to achieve the target for universal access to electricity before the 2030 deadline after nearly 85 per cent of the country’s population has been given access to electricity.”India is doing extremely well on electrification. We are reporting about 85 per cent of India’s population has access to electricity,” said Foster, lead World Bank author of the latest report on Energy Progress. This figure is higher than that of the Indian government. “That might surprise you. The government is currently reporting in low 80s.” She the World Bank’s methodology is based on a household survey. Even those who are off grid have been surveyed. The figures of the government are based on official utility connection. While the World Bank’s methodology is based on a household survey, which includes even those who are off grid, the figures of the government are based on official utility connection. “In absolute terms, India is doing more on electrification than any other countries. Thirty million a year, is really an astounding performance and it stands out from the crowd,” Foster said while briefing media on the report. India is however not the fastest country in electrification program. Bangladesh and Kenya are faster in this regard than India which is now entering the final stage of electrification.”You are already well over 80 per cent, so you’re getting into the more difficult aspects of electrification: the more remote population, the harder to reach people.” The reliability of service is an area of concern for India, she said.”We know that in some parts of India having the connection doesn’t necessarily guarantee the energy’s reliable supply. So, getting the connection obviously is very important, but India still has a long way to continue to work on actually making that access meaningful in terms of hours of service,” Foster said. It is expected that 250 million people will have electricity between now and the early 2020s when the country reaches full access. The rapid growth of electricity access in India is propelled by the country’s USD 2.5 billion electrification programmes to reach universal electrification. Meanwhile, GOI says the variation in the level of electrification across various regions and states within the country is primarily because of its size, heterogeneity in terms of topography; location; resources and also because of varying efforts made by the states for household electrification.“The government has already moved out of this dichotomy and launched ‘Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana’- Saubhagya- to achieve universal household electrification in the country by 31 December 2018. Therefore, the debate on definition of village electrification in the present scenario has lost significance,” the Power Ministry said. About a fifth of the rural households still don’t have electricity. More than 3.1 crore of over nearly 18 crore rural homes have no access to power, according to the Saubhagya -power for all- scheme website. A village is considered electrified if it boasts of basic electrical infrastructure and even if 10 percent of the homes have power.


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