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What does Daman have that Bihar doesn’t? Power

30 March 2012

It’s summer. The mercury level is above 30 degree Celsius in most parts of the country. So, are you planning to buy the third Air Conditioner for your house? No one’s stopping you. You have the POWER.

But most of rural India doesn’t. While 99 percent of rural households in Union Territories like Lakshwadeep and Daman and Diu have electricity, in Bihar only 10 percent of rural households have electricity. The Census data of 2011 shows that in terms of electricity coverage, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are the worst performers in the country. In a decade, the states could only add four to five percentage points in their electricity coverage. While Uttar Pradesh climbed from 19.9 percent in 2001 to 23.8 percent in 2011, Bihar’s electricity coverage rose from a mere 5.1 percent to 10.4 percent, reported Business Standard.

Here are some more statistics, according to the Census 2011 data, that shows despite the implementation of large scale programmes, India is mostly POWER-less. The country’s achievement in providing access to electricity leaves much to be desired.

  • There are still 11 lakh households in India with no source of lighting whatsoever. That is a number slightly larger than the number of households using solar lighting.
  • Just over half of rural India uses electricity as its main source of lighting, an increase of 12 percent over 2001.
  • Barely one in every ten households in rural Bihar and two-thirds of houses in the state’s urban areas use electricity to light their houses.
  • Madhya Pradesh has shown a marginal decline in the proportion of households that use electricity as the primary source of lightning from 62 percent in 2001 to 58 percent in 2011.
  • 85 percent of rural India still using firewood, crop residue or cow dung as its primary source of fuel for cooking.
  • In Bihar and Orissa, the spread of LPG lags far behind the rest of the country , with less than 10 percent of households in both states using LPG.

The data is a stark reminder of the lopsided development in the country. Ambitious schemes like Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidhyutikaran Yojana, with the goal of electrifying all unelectrified villages or hamlets, in April 2007, hasn’t been able to achieve much success. Maybe, government needs to do much more, while we dream on for power.

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