India to have all villages electrified by 2012

Palakkad (Kerala), Feb 16 (Calcutta Tube) India aims at providing electricity to all the 593,732 villages in the country by 2012, Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde announced Tuesday as he declared Kerala’s Palakkad district the first fully electrified district in the country.

‘The country would become self sufficient in electricity production and electric equipment within one and a half years,’ he said.

A village was earlier deemed electrified if electricity was being used within its revenue area for any purpose whatsoever. This definition was revised in October 1997 to term a village electrified if electricity is used in the inhabited area within the revenue boundary of the village for any purpose.

According to the ministry, out of the total 593,732 villages in the country as per the 2001 census, 496,365 have been electrified as on Dec 31, 2009. There are no unelectrified villages in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Goa, Haryana, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and as well as the union territories of Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Lakshwadeep and Puducherry.

Out of the 96,106 villages yet to be electrified, the maximum are in Jharkhand (20,235), followed by Orissa (17,794) and Bihar (15,101). The minimum are in Karnataka (23), Sikkim (25) and Gujarat (51).

The minister said the national percentage of transmission loss stands at 37 percent and this would be brought down to nil by 2020.

The process of completely electrifying Palakkad district began three and a half years ago and Rs.520 crore was spent for power infrastructure development in 11 assembly constituencies in the district.

The electrification project was implemented in the district using the MP and MLA Local Area Development Fund, Kerala Electricity Minister A.K. Balan said.

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