For the first time ever, every single city in India has electricity. Leisang, in India’s state of Manipur, was the final village to get power after the construction of power poles and wiring. India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, tweeted the following after the historical event.
“Yesterday, we fulfilled a commitment due to which the lives of several Indians will be changed forever. I am delighted that every single village of India now has electricity.”
It’s a big accomplishment for the Prime Minister. When he came to power in 2014, 300 million people in India did not have electricity. Providing its citizens with electricity has been a goal of the Indian government for a long time, but there were many roadblocks that made the task difficult. The biggest challenge was in the form of the logistics required to electrify villages in such remote areas with rough terrain.
Modi worked with foreign governments, including the United States, to use aircraft to take building materials to some of these remote areas. In addition, many materials were hauled in on foot by porters who crossed dangerous bridges and rivers to deliver the items.
While getting Leisang powered up is a great achievement, there’s still a lot of work to be done. While every village now has power, only 8 percent of the country has that power all the time. The majority of the country experiences power outages every day.
There are still approximately 30 million homes that need to be wired properly to maintain consistent power, and the Prime Minister has promised that this next phase will be completed by April 2019. At that point, it’s a matter of focusing on maintaining the power supply at a consistent and affordable rate.
The project didn’t come cheap, as the budget for the electrification program was about $11 billion. The benefits will likely outweigh the costs, though, as now remote areas will be able to use things like televisions and computers. Hopefully, that translates into easier educations for the children and a general healthier way of life for all of the citizens of India.