2018-05-14
World Bank says Modi’s electrification push doing much better than what numbers show

While the government is currently reporting country’s electrification numbers in low 80s, the actual numbers are much higher, World Bank said. About 85 percent of India’s population has access to electricity, Vivien Foster, Lead Energy Economist at the World Bank told PTI. “That might surprise you. The government is currently reporting in low 80s,” she told PTI. India is doing ‘extremely well’ on the electrification front, World Bank said. About 30 million people received electricity between 2010 and 2016, which is much more than any other country in the world, said the global body. The methodology used by the World Bank is based on household survey and also includes those households which are not connected to grid at present. However, the government data is based on official utility connection.

Challenges Ahead

Nevertheless, the country is not the fastest when it comes at electrifying the country. For example, Kenya and Bangladesh are much faster than it, she told PTI. However, the real challenge for India begins now as it near final stages of electrification. “You are already well over 80 percent, so you’re getting into the more difficult aspects of electrification: the more remote population, the harder to reach people,” she told PTI. However, the reliability of service is an area of concern for India, she said. Before the 2030 target date, India will achieve the target to universal access to electricity.

The World Bank Report also said that access to clean cooking is 41 percent of the population. Renewable energy constitutes 36 percent of total final energy consumption in India at present.

On 29 April Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said,”28th April 2018 will be remembered as a historic day in the development journey of India. Yesterday, we fulfilled a commitment due to which the lives of several Indians will be transformed forever! I am delighted that every single village of India now has access to electricity.”

Source- The Financial Express