All Indian villages now have access to electricity. The last village to be brought on the national power grid was Leisang village in the Senapati district of Manipur at 5.30pm on Saturday.

The electricity has been brought to all villages under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY). State run Rural Electrification corporation (REC) is the nodal agency appointed for executing the scheme.

All villages electrified
According to the government data, all of India’s 597,464 census villages have been electrified.

This assumes importance given that at the onset of Rs75,893 crore DDUGJY for village electrification under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, there were 18,452 un-electrified census villages. During the project work it was found out that an additional 1275 villages also didn’t have electricity access. As of 28 April, all these villages have got electricity access either through the national grid or off grid solutions. Also, 1,236 villages are uninhabited and 35 have been notified as grazing reserves.

Per capita energy consumption
The scheme will also help improve India’s per capita power consumption of around 1,200 kWh which is among the lowest in the world.

Aimed at providing round the clock power to rural households and adequate power to agricultural consumers, the DDUGJY involved feeder separation, strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution network, metering at all levels, village electrification, and setting up micro grid and off grid distribution network.

The last village to be provided off grid electricity access was Pakol village in Churachandpur district of Manipur.

What is the criteria for electrification?
Given that a village is declared to be electrified if 10% of the households can access power along with public institutions such as schools, the panchayat office, health centres, dispensaries and community centres; household electrification remains the final frontier in providing electricity access.

Next target
Given its electoral potential, the next step now is to provide electricity connections to more than 40 million families in rural and urban areas by March 2019 under the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya), wherein all households will be targeted.

Leisang, the last Indian village where the national electricity grid reached.

  • Location: Sadar Hills West Sub Division of Senapati district of Manipur.
  • Total number of families: 19
  • Population: 65
  • Males: 31
  • Females: 34

(Adapted from Livemint)