Bihar’s per capita energy consumption lowest: Report

Patna, Nov 20 ( Bihar’s per capita energy consumption is the lowest in the country and the government’s rural electrification campaign is a “failure”, according to a report by the Greenpeace India Society.

“Bihar’s per capita energy consumption, at 75 kWh (kilowatt per hour), is the lowest in India and far below the national average of 613 kWh,” the report, titled “Energy Injustice”, said.

According to Greenpeace India, only 30 percent of rural households in the state have been electrified.

The Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojna (RGGVY) is a failure in Bihar, the report added.

RGGVY is a centrally-sponsored programme launched in 2005 to provide electricity in rural areas.

As per RGGVY norms, a village will be considered electrified if 10 percent households and some important structures like the panchayat building got electricity.

While 70-75 percent villages in Bihar are considered electrified, only 30 percent households in these villages have received electricity, said Rampati Kumar, an advisor of Greenpeace India.

The NGO has asked the state government to issue a white paper on how many households have been electrified in the state till date.

When contacted, state energy Minister Ramashray Prasad Singh declined to comment on the report.

“I am yet to see the report and so I can’t comment on what’s mentioned in it,” Singh told IANS.

However, R.K. Sharma, a member of the Bihar State Electricity Board, raised concerns about the findings of the Greenpeace report.

“The state’s power situation has improved in the last few years. The state has travelled a long way in ensuring energy security,” Sharma said.

Greenpeace prepared the report after conducting studies in five states in different regions – Orissa, Bihar, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.