On Saturday evening, Leisang village in Manipur's Senapati district became the last village to be connected to the national power grid. It helped that 577,000 villages already had access to electricity before the pledge was made.
Analysts say the more important government goal is one that calls for every household to be connected to the grid by the end of 2018, even those that can not afford to pay for the necessary infrastructure to be installed.
"I'm sceptical that the government would be able to electrify all the households by 2019". There are two critical aspects - one is reduction in power theft and another is improving the finances and operational conditions of discoms. That's the first step in the ultimate goal to provide electricity to each and every single house that exists on this land.
"As per recent reports from the States, household electrification level in rural areas is more than 82 per cent ranging from 47to 100 per cent across various States". The Saubhagya scheme (Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana) is meant to address this aspect.
Former Finance Minister P Chidambram, while speaking at an event in Delhi, said, "This is a jumla again, ask them (the government), who electrified more than one lakh villages?"
On average, the UPA electrified 12,030 villages per year while the Modi government electrified 4,842.
Avillage is now considered electrified only if the Gram Panchayat certifies that the basic infrastructure has been provided to the inhabited area, including Dalit hamlets, and 10% of the households are electrified, according to Central Electricity Authority (CEA). "Even when you offer them free connections, many people are unwilling to take it". The report adds that per latest government data, India has electrified only about 13 per cent of the nearly 36.8 million homes identified in October as needing power. It took them three years to electrify. After meeting Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Nepal's foreign minister, his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi floated the idea of a trilateral economic corridor with India and Nepal as part of a trade initiative. The nodal agency appointed for executing the scheme is the State run Rural Electrification corporation (REC). The two countries will work together to enhance stable and balanced development of major-country relations, advance stability, development and prosperity of Asia in the 21st century, promote the rejuvenation of the oriental civilization and make a positive contribution to global peace and development. "Besides providing electricity to the last person in the row - the poorest person, our focus is on developing skilled artisans", Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan had said on the occasion.
Though some of the villages managed to get electricity, there are several villages which are yet to get the facility.