Bihar, UP village delegations present their views and demands on RGGVY to the Planning Commission

Greenpeace-led group recommends uptake of DRE for rural electrification

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Press release - September 2, 2011
Patna, Bihar/Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, September 2, 2011: A delegation from Madhubani and Saran in Bihar and Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, together with Greenpeace activists, met members of the Planning Commission today and urged them to increase the scope for decentralised renewable energy (DRE) in the government’s flagship Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) rural electrification scheme. The delegation handed over key recommendations emerging from a social audit of the scheme.

Greenpeace and partner organisations had conducted social audits and public hearings on RGGVY in 31 villages across Madhubani and Saran districts in Bihar, Azamgarh district in Uttar Pradesh and Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh. The social audits clearly brought out inconsistencies between the claims made by the Centre and the reality at the ground level.

The Planning Commission listened to the delegation intently and agreed to consider the recommendations of the group and the social audits for inclusion in RGGVY for the 12th Five Year Plan.

“The RGGVY scheme promised us power and electricity for 6-8 hours in a day, but we are yet to see a connection. A lot of people in my village also don’t know much about their entitlements under the scheme, leading to rampant corruption. We hope that the Planning Commission will pay heed to our problems and make the required changes in the scheme,” lamented Rakesh Kumar, head of Bhatha Gram Panchayat, Maker Block, Saran District, Bihar.

The RGGVY website claims that the Saran and Madhubani districts of Bihar have 100 per cent and 97 per cent electrification respectively. In reality, almost 78 per cent of the population at Saran and almost all villages in Madhubani have no access to electricity. Similarly, for Azamgarh, UP, the RGGVY website claims electrification upto 93 per cent, while in reality a large number of people have been denied even an electric connection.

In Andhra Pradesh, where villages already had some access to electricity, RGGVY has failed to achieve intense electrification. Improvement in electricity infrastructure has not translated to improved supply and has failed to meet the demands of the people who want electricity for more than just lighting purposes.

There are areas in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh where decentralised renewable energy (DRE) systems have provided hope and electricity to people, and if these systems are included under the RGGVY, the scheme has the capacity to truly energise rural India.

“DRE has the potential to provide electricity to rural areas that are not connected to the grid and to augment electricity supply where the grid has reached the villages. There is provision for DRE under the scheme, but it has not been adequately utilised. RGGVY needs to be revamped to suit local requirements and provide regular and reliable power to people and DRE can bridge this gap. Planning Commission should include DRE in RGGVY in the 12th Five Year Plan,” said Arpana Udupa, campaigner, Greenpeace India. The delegation also plans to meet the Ministry of Power and National Advisory Council to take their demands forward.

Greenpeace is calling on the Planning Commission to mainstream DRE in the RGGVY. The scheme should:

  • Enable rapid uptake of DRE generation (off-grid and on grid) units in RGGVY operational areas with target of 25% of resources .
  • Ensure electrification for 100 per cent households in targeted villages.
  • Embed the social audit component in the scheme to enhance accountability.
  • Include guidelines for energy infrastructure for irrigation and medium and small scale industries as part of rural energy programme.
  • Inclusion of Panchayati Raj Institutions to enable better implementation and monitoring of the scheme.


For further details, please contacts:

  • Arpana Udupa, campaigner, Greenpeace India, 0953515200,
  • Shachi Chaturvedi, senior media officer, Greenpeace India, 9818750007,
  • Munna Jha, media consultant, Greenpeace India, +91 9570099300,