India Nears Power Success, But Millions Still in the Dark

Narendra Modi stormed to victory in 2014 on pledges to improve the lives of Indians, including bringing power to every citizen.

Rural electrification became a cornerstone of the prime minister’s plan, which included connecting more than 18,000 villages by the end of this month. And with only a few left to be electrified, according to government data, that’s a target Modi’s administration looks set to meet.

But that will still keep almost 32 million homes in the dark: the government deems a village “electrified” if 10 percent of its households, as well as public places such as schools and health centers, are connected. As of Thursday, less than 8 percent of the newly electrified villages had all homes electrified, the data showed, leaving swaths of rural India without power, which can hinder economic growth, basic health care and education.

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