What is the issue ?
- "While it is the Centre’s responsibility to connect households and villages to the power grid or provide them alternative sources of electricity, it cannot guarantee the supply of electricity to them" is what the Centre says when asked about 100% rural electrification and 24x7 power supply highlighting the government's indifference towards a major problem in a country like India.
What do official records claim ?
- The Centre has claimed 100% electrification of all villages and 83% of all households across the country.
- It has said that all households will be electrified by the year end.
The pathetic state of power supply in India :
- The electrification infrastructure such as cables and transformers were stolen days after they were installed, leaving the target village unelectrified in reality but connected on paper.
- In other cases, electricity was supplied for just a few hours a day
- Despite the government pegging India as a power surplus nation, almost every State in the country reels under power cuts, especially during peak summer.
Problems faced by power discoms :
Most of them are not financially capable of handling the task
Only some of the discoms have the infrastructure to supply good quality power on a sustained basis.
Discoms are still very inefficient, with the costs they incur in the transmission far outweighing revenue. Government data show discoms across the country, on an average, lose Rs 0.22 a unit of electricity supplied.
What is the way forward ?
- Better co-ordination and planning between Centre, states and power discoms.
- Financial assistance to discoms to help them recover from the losses and increase efficiency for power transmission by minimising losses.