The Kerala Government will declare the state as fully electrified on May 29. The state has achieved this through a massive campaign and simplification to apply for new electricity connections.
The state has 1.25 crore KSEB (Kerala State Electricity Board) consumers and only 1000 families do not have connections till now. These are tribal families who lives deep inside the forests and did not get connections due to pending cases in the court. The total cost of the Total Electrification Scheme was Rs 174 crore, of which Rs 37.34 crore was spent from the asset development fund of MLAs. The power department has also provided 4.75 lakh new connections during the first year of the government.
The Total Electrification Scheme was spearheaded by the KSEB with the support from the Energy Management Centre and the Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT). The total cost of the Total Electrification Scheme was 174 crore. The central government guidelines for total electrification is that at least two public utilities in a village and 10 per cent of the households should be covered to be declared fully electrified. Going by that norm, Kerala was fully electrified years ago.
Of the 1.5 lakh beneficiaries, almost 1.25 lakh belonged to BPL category. They also included 32,000 SC applicants and 17,500 tribal families.
The government along with the power department rolled out a massive campaign to find out houses which do not have connections and helped them to apply for new connections by simplifying the existing procedures. This includes use of new technologies like SMS, Whatsapp and missed calls. In places, where it was difficult for KSEB to draw lines, they introduced solar plants to provide connections. This include 1600 houses in 22 housing colonies.
Kerala model is a classic example of how government initiatives with the help of technology can benefit its people. Kerala government and KSEB can be proud of this feat which is an example for all other states in India to replicate. KSEB is the first government organization in the country to introduce online services such as bill payment, apply for new connections, register complaint and other services. KSEB has also introduced various initiatives to stop power theft, to increase awareness regarding safety and energy conservation. The state’s power department is also one of the first to introduce the concept of hydel tourism to facilitate the effective utilization of water based tourism potential in the natural surroundings of hydel projects areas of the state as well as preserve the ecology of the area.
After Gujarat and Andhra, Kerala enters the club of fully electrified states in India. So that means till now only 2 out of 29 states in India are fully electrified as per the central government guidelines.