Data Focus

24x7 rural power supply eludes most States

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on October 21, 2021

Urban areas in Tripura, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh get almost 24 hours of power supply


From an average 20.41 hours in 2018-19 to 21.09 hours in 2020-21, availability of power in rural India has marginally increased even as it has gone up substantially in urban areas. In 2018-19 average power availability in urban areas was 21.43 hours, it is now 23.35 hours.

According to data presented by the Ministry of Power to Lok Sabha in August this year, Himachal Pradesh ranks at the bottom for power availability in rural areas. The average power supply in rural Himachal Pradesh in 2020-21 was 15.50 hours; it is preceded by Uttar Pradesh (16.26 hours), Karnataka (19.11 hours), Tripura (19.33 hours), and Haryana (19.57 hours). Interestingly, all these States provide more than 23 hours of power supply in urban areas.

Jammu and Kashmir has low power supply in urban areas (22.59 hours) followed by Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland with 22.44 hours. Bihar and Haryana supply 23.23 hours and 23.24 hours of power, respectively, to their cities.

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Tripura, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh provide almost 24 hours of power supply in urban areas.

Electricity is a concurrent subject where the States or State power utilities supply and/or distribute it. All States and Union Territories have signed MoUs with the Union Government to ensure 24x7 power supply to all households, industrial and commercial consumers, and adequate supply to agricultural consumers from April 1, 2019.


Supply and distribution problems

Under the Saubhagya scheme, as of March 31, 2021, all States have reported 100 per cent electrification of all the willing un-electrified households identified before 2019 — namely, 2.817 crore households.

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In July this year, the government informed Lok Sabha that there is no shortage of electricity in the country. Against a peak demand of 200 gigawatts (GW), the established generation capacity is 382 GW. Interruption in supply is generally due to constraints in the distribution network, or the financial constraints of some distribution companies.

However, consumers are not too happy with the power supply situation. NITI Aayog, Ministry of Power, Rockefeller Foundation, and Smart Power India’s ‘Electricity Access in India and Benchmarking Distribution Utilities’ report in 2020 reflects this. About 66 per cent of those surveyed were satisfied with utility services — 74 per cent in urban areas and 60 per cent in rural areas.

Published on October 21, 2021

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