- The writer praised that village electrification has been completed. The household electrification under the Saubhagya scheme is expected to be completed by 2020. The write envisions the next step to be making the use of electric stoves the norm.
- As per the writer, household electrification under the Saubhagya scheme is expected to be completed by 2020.
- Full Central government financing is responsible for completing rural electrification as had been done earlier for provision of safe drinking water in villages and, later, for roads to connect all villages.
- Power generation
- Power generating capacity in India is in excess of demand and with this providing reliable 24 hours electricity to all households, including the newly electrified ones, is now feasible and beginning to happen across States.
- The need is to augment the distribution capacity in rural and urban areas to cater to increasing demand.
- Pre-paid meters
- The writer suggests introducing pre-paid meters for providing electricity.
- The cost of meter reading, billing and collection would become minimal for the millions of scattered rural households.
- 24×7 electricity is achievable
- With the declining cost of IT systems and smart grids, this is achievable.
- This would improve revenue collection and lower costs for the distribution companies.
- The IT based smart grid with automated metering and billing would make real-time energy audit a reality.
- The power ministry is pushing for this. But the states, their regulators and distribution companies have to come on board and act.
- Electric stoves for cooking
- Lightening needs has already been achieved with the transition to LED bulbs.
- The next step is to get rural households to use electricity for cooking.
- Transform the quality of lives of rural women
- Eliminate indoor pollution
- Improve health
- These stoves can be given to rural households in installments and free to BPL households.
- The writer suggests basic cooking and lightning can be done in about a hundred units a month.
- Therefore hundred units of electricity at a concessional rate to be given to rural households.
- With this India can achieve the historic transition of all rural households, switching over from polluting firewood and cow-dung cakes to indoor pollution-free electricity for cooking.