• Electrification drive: REC averages 30,000 new connections per week

    India is in electrification overdrive, with about 30,000 new electricity connections being granted every week. The Union power ministry is mapping the progress live on a website and is also measuring changes in lifestyle in the recently electrified villages, collecting largest data of its kind. NITI Aayog, the Centre’s premier think tank, has advocated that other ministries use this data for other social welfare schemes.

    As per the Garv-2 portal, 23,000 new electricity connections were given last week and 41,000 in the previous week. In the ninth week of this calendar year, 28,000 power consumers were taken on board.

    State-run Rural Electrification Corporation is targeting to scale up the drive to grant 100,000 connections every week, its executive director Dinesh Arora said. India has never seen electrification at such large scale earlier, and neither have details been made available on electrification at household level. Electrification data was only captured for families below poverty line earlier. The Garv-2 portal was launched on December 20, 2016.

    “We expect it to stabilise and accelerate the drive by March 31,” Arora said. Power ministry officials said the Aayog has recommended Garv-2 application be used for sanitation and other social schemes.

    In February, 66,000 new customers were registered and in March so far 86,000 new connections have been granted. The new connections are uploaded live on the website with meter and contact details. The government has also kick-started an electrification impact survey on villages that have been electrified for more than six months. Brian Urlacher Womens Jersey

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