Strategy for Rural Upliftment in India

Extensive power sector reforms have been introduced in the past three decades in most of the developing countries, including India, wherein different models for reforming have been introduced. However, there is often an increasing concern that energy services still fail to reach the poor, primarily because issues related to access to poor were overlooked in the process of reform which assumed that greater economic efficiency of the power sector would automatically extend access to all including poor[1].

Since poor population formulates the most vulnerable section of the society, it is vital from the point of social equity and sustainability of the reforms process, that interventions in the power sector benefit the poor. India requires a new approach to achieve rapid and sustainable rural electrification at affordable price, complemented by Central Government actions to improve program coordination, including facilitating coordination between Central Ministries and existing poverty programs to ensure that electricity investment is coordinated with other energy and non-energy activities.

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Madhya Pradesh distribution companies are going through a crisis in three dimensions viz: financial crisis, depleting technical manpower at grade III & IV, failure to curb power theft.

In order to overcome this crisis the state power sector is facing today, we need to resort to a fundamentally different approach. Increasing transparency, accountability and public participation in power sector’s affair would play a significant role in overcoming crisis. Based upon above mentioned factors, a “people participation model” for state power sector has been suggested.

It is expected that this model will help in providing a cost effective solution for fast depleting technical manpower and theft prevention. The model aims at creating a labour pool for carrying out line maintenance functions for state power sector. Another important key issues lies in inclusion of PRI (Panchayat Raj Institute) as an outsourced partner, thus making them accountable for LT line maintenance works.

Due to minor nature of fault at times guaranteed supply of 6 hours in rural area is not provided.

At present fault rectifications is carried out by deploying maintenance gang from Distribution Centers (DC). A DC is responsible for maintenance of about 7-16 villages spread over vast geographical area, thus considerable amount of time is lost in their transportation. By implementing suggested model the fault rectification time will be drastically reduced. It is expected that reduction in fault rectification time will increase customer satisfaction and strengthen guaranteed supply.

The objective of the suggested model is provision of electricity for meeting the basic needs of villagers like water for agriculture and lighting, especially for the weaker sections by utilizing locally available resources to the extent possible and provision of energy as the critical input in economic development of rural areas that would result in creation of employment, increase in productivity and income, beside accelerating the process of decentralised development.