Only two-thirds of rural households in country have power connection: Survey

NEW DELHI, Sep 29: The largest energy Access survey in India has found that despite 96 per cent of villages in the county electrified, only two-thirds of rural households in the country have a power connection and only half of them receive more than 12 hours of power a day.

The Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity Survey of States (ACCESS) is India’s largest energy access survey, covering more than 8500 households, 714 villages and 51 districts, across Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

Minister for Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal today released an independent study by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), in collaboration with Columbia University.

Speaking at the release of the ACCESS study, Mr Goyal said, ”CEEW’s ACCESS study provides a holistic approach to analyse the deep distress to rural India due to poor electricity access and could be the handbook for all future discussion on this topic.

”In urban India, we often take electricity for granted without realising the poor state of electricity access faced by large parts of rural India. Though 96 per cent of villages are electrified, it is crucial to note that this does not equal to electrification of the households.

”Rural citizens today demand quality electricity to light their homes, use fans, charge mobiles and provide a conducive environment for the education of their children. Ensuring quality 24×7 electricity at affordable prices to backward regions and the poorest of the poor citizens in rural India is the prime focus of my Government.”

Some of the key findings on Electricity Access are that even though 95.5 per cent villages are electrified, only 68.6 per cent of rural households have electricity connection across the six states.

Only half the rural households receive electricity for more than 12 hours a day. This is as high as 97.5 per cent for West Bengal and as low as 23.5 per cent for Uttar Pradesh.

Proportion of rural households receiving four or more hours of evening supply varies from 93 per cent in West Bengal to more than 70 per cent in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha to less than 30 per cent in Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Sixty five per cent of electrified households face at least one black-out day in a month. 64 per cent of electrified households in Bihar use kerosene as primary lighting source. For a lifeline consumption of 30 units/month, unmetered households end up paying more than the metered households.

Even a household electricity connection does not guarantee its use as a primary source of lighting; 46 per cent of households having electricity connection have severe issues in terms of supply quality and duration.

Significant lag exists between the time when a village was first electrified and when the households got electrified. This varies from a median lag of 25 years for a rural household in Odisha to 15 years for households in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to only two years in Bihar and Jharkhand.

Nearly a third of the households expressed preference for a micro-grid over regular grid, the findings said. (UNI)


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