Around 40% of Indian households are still not electrified
November 20, 2009
A report by the international environment NGO, Greenpeace, says that the nation’s gaping urban-rural divide is clearly pronounced in India’s power distribution pattern. Around 40% of households in India still await electrification.
A major part of these non-electrified households are from rural areas. Urban India has almost 100% electrification, and a small section of the urban population is even approaching the per capita consumption levels of developed countries.
As of 29 February 2008, Bihar had the maximum number of non-electrified villages with a number as high as 18,395. Only 10% of the households in the State are electrified. As per the Greenpeace survey on power supply situation, Bihar was the only state which reported a deficit during peak hours in the Tier-1 cities. Uttar Pradesh ranks second with 12,298 non-electrified villages.
In Karnataka, between 1999 and 2009, the available power capacity has gone up by 70%; energy consumption has gone up by 95%; and per capita consumption has gone up by 76%. But 356 villages remained non-electrified.
In Maharashtra, between 1999 and 2009, the available power capacity has gone up by 54%; energy consumption has gone up by 54%; and per capita consumption has gone up by 32%. But 5,018 villages remained non-electrified.
In Uttar Pradesh, between 1997 and 2009, the available power capacity has gone up by 58%; energy consumption has gone up by 53%; and per capita consumption has gone up by 6%. But 12,298 villages remained non-electrified.
To compare the electricity supply scenario in rural and urban populations, a survey was conducted in five different states from four regions of the country—two in the east (Orissa and Bihar), one each in the south (Karnataka), north (Uttar Pradesh) and the west (Maharashtra). In each of these states one Tier-1 city, one Tier-2 city, and three villages were chosen.
The State-wise survey data of five States for the period 2000-2008 presents a shocking picture.
Except for Bihar, the annual peak demand for all States was fully met. In Karnataka, an 18% deficit in the annual peak demand for electricity was reported in the Tier-2 city, with three villages reporting a maximum deficit of 45% to 59%. In Maharashtra, the Tier-II city reported a deficit of 5 to 17%, and one village reported a maximum deficit of 30% to 56%. The situation in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa is far worse, with no supply to all three villages during the peak demand hours. The Tier-2 location of Uttar Pradesh reported a deficit of 22% to 29%. The Tier-2 location for Orissa faced a deficit of 4.5% to 40%. In Bihar, the Tier-1 location reported deficit of 15% to 21% and Tier-2 location reported a deficit of 28% to 33%.
None of the fifteen villages covered in this survey have 100% electrification. Even in those villages where official records indicate that more than 50% electrification of households has been undertaken, the supply is so bad that the per capita electricity consumption is abysmally low, stated the report.
Highlighting the urban-rural divide, the report stated, if the profligacy being incurred in the urban areas of each state were to be reduced by 50%, probably all the households in each village could get a lifeline supply of 30 units a month. The reason given by successive administrations for the failure in 100% electrification, even after 62 years of Independence, has been the high cost of extending the electricity network to villages. Yet, this restraint seems only to have come in the way of rural electrification. Huge sums have been spent in adding to the installed generating capacity and expanding the transmission and distribution network to cater to the needs of urban areas and industries - Amritha Pillay[email protected]