India’s performance in providing its citizens access to electricity has been astounding, but the country has a long way to go in ensuring the access is meaningful with enough hours of supply, the World Bank has said. The world body estimates that nearly 85% of the population has access to power supply – even more than the government figure of 82%.
“India is doing extremely well on electrification,” said Vivien Foster, the lead author of the World Bank’s report on Energy Progress, released on Wednesday. Challenges remain to provide electricity to the remaining 15% of the population, but the country is all set to achieve its target of universal access to electricity before 2030, she told PTI.
Between 2010 and 2016, about three crore people got access to electricity each year, more than any other country, the World Bank said in the report.
The World Bank’s estimates are higher than the Indian government’s figures because its survey covers those households as well that are off the grid. The government’s estimates are based on official utility connection, Foster said.
“In absolute terms, India is doing more on electrification than any other countries,” she said. “Thirty million a year is really an astounding performance and it stands out from the crowd.”
India is now entering final stage of electrification, Foster said. “You are already well over 80%, so you’re getting into the more difficult aspects of electrification: the more remote population, the harder to reach people.”
On Sunday, the government said that all villages in India had been electrified. However, more than 3 crore rural households, or 17%, of rural households in the country still do not have an electricity connection, according to government data.