Is Karnataka in league with Uttar Pradesh and Assam regarding electrification of its households? Does Karnataka have 2 lakh homes which do not have electricity connections? No, says the state government.
The Union government recently released figures regarding the Prime Ministerâ€™s Saubhagya scheme which aims at providing electricity to each and every household in the country. The data stated that Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Assam were the worst states in the country regarding electrification of households. The figures state that 2 lakh homes do not have electricity in Karnataka. Calling the Centreâ€™s data â€śold and fallaciousâ€ť the Additional Chief Secretary of the Energy Department P Ravi Kumar said that the figures were based on old Census data.
â€śThe Central government has taken its figures from 2011 Census data. The 2 lakh figure was concluded based on a sample collected from the postal service. We have the current and accurate information,â€ť he said, â€śThere are a few homes in Uttara Kannada and Kodagu which do not have electricity. Totally about 4,500 households do not have electricity and we intend to get the connections done by the end of the year if possible. Last year, 29 villages did not have electricity including a few in Chamarajanagar and Belagavi districts. Now they have the connections.â€ť
He said that the villages in Kodagu need new connections due to the floods which had destroyed property in the district. â€śNow the government is constructing houses for those who were rendered homeless. They need to get electricity. Once the rehabilitation work is complete, all homes will have power,â€ť he said.
Sources in the Energy Department say that the Central Power Department did not consult with the state government to obtain the accurate figures.
A source in the department said that there were 12,56,592 homes without electricity in Karnataka in in March 2015. â€śThere were various schemes like Niranthana Jyoti to provide 24 hour power supply for domestic and commercial purposes. Hosa Belaku aimed at providing LED lights to all households and Savi Kirana helped people obtain electricity connections very quickly. Earlier, people had to contact agents who would help get the power connections. Now people can do it directly. This has helped increase the number of power connections,â€ť the source added.