“Even though only 15 out of the total of 170 homes of our village are supplied with electricity, the government still considers this place electrified” says Kumar, who belongs to a small village named Fateh Nagla in Uttar Pradesh, 250 kilometres east of New Delhi. This village has been declared as electrified as it just meets the government’s definition; according to which, there should be power supply in schools, health centres and other public places. Basic infrastructure should be in place and at least 10 percent of the households should have electricity.In another corner of India, prolonged blackout due to a power cut resulted in failing of backup generators of a hospital. This forced the nurses to manually operate life-saving equipments, such as ventilators, for the patients. This incident fortunately, did not result in any loss of life, as reported by a senior doctor of the hospital.
“The Kanan village of Bihar has been in dark for years now. The transformer of the place caught fire 20 years back and it never got replaced since then.” says Mr Niranjan Kumar, a resident. Many deaths have been reported in the same area because of scorpion bites in the dark.
These types of incidences are not rare in a country like India. Fortunately, Modi’s political ride on reaching “Power to all” goal has offered a piece of bliss, but it carries a lot of dark secrets along. The places wherein the conventional electricity wires have been laid, the maintenance has not been taken care of and the remote areas wherein electricity is brought through solar power, the quality of the products has fallen between the cracks of bribery.
A lot of research has been done in this domain and the results have been inconsistent. If we talk about the villages, 7008 villages were reported last year as electrified but according to government’s own field engineers, either the lights were non-operational or no electricity infrastructure was found. The places where solar energy panels were provided, incidences were reported in which either the battery stopped working after just 2-3 months of usage or the panels were installed in a half-broken state. Neither the quality of the products nor the maintenance was consistent. The only thing that sustained was darkness.
Urban areas show no offbeat case in point. There have been frequent and prolonged blackouts which have left a jolt in every possible sector of the economy. Recently, a major power failure hit 600 million people in North and East India. The incident left commuters aground with troubled water supply and businesses were without electricity. 19 states and around 370 million people were shaken by this episode. Around 200 coal-miners were reported trapped in the mines in West Bengal.
These massive power cuts have crippled the country. India has missed each and every annual electricity production target since 1951, according to a Bloomberg report.
Tired dabblers have started taking initiatives to truncate their dependence on the conventional energy sources. As stated by a resident in East Delhi, Mr Alok, “We have installed solar lights in our house and have actually realised the difference. We no more have to endure the power cuts and simultaneously are saving tremendously on our bills.”
Numerous conjectures could be stated from all the prescribed factual data. Firstly, it’s not just the initiative but even the monitoring of the operation, that makes the difference. The government should look in appropriate expenditure of allotted funds in not only the installation of good quality products powered by renewable energy but also their maintenance. Also, it’s high time that we switch to renewable sources of energy like Mr Alok did and alleviate the pressure on the non-renewable once. It’s not just the government’s duty but ours as well. We should save electricity by its judicious use and invest in products which support our steps towards a healthier world.
Related Keywords: Solar Power, Solar street Light, Solar Garden Lights