As per official Government data of Ministry of Power, almost 8 crores of rural homes of India have no electricity connection. In Bihar and Zarkhand, 90 % rural homes are without electricity connection. In Assam, Bengal and Orissa, 80 % rural homes have no electricity connection. Similarly, we can safely assume that almost 2 crores of poor families living in urban areas and slums have no electricity connection. So totally 10 crores homes are without electricity connection. This becomes almost 45 % of India.
All these 10 crores homes can be electrified within 2 years easily as per the following simple scheme.
- No new transmission lines and new distribution lines will be necessary except the existing ones.
- No house wiring will be necessary in 10 crores of homes.
- CFL tube has come as a blessing for the poor people. It is envisaged to provide one CFL tube of 11 Watt with sealed maintenance free battery of 12 V x 4.5 Ah. One CFL tube will give equivalent light to 4 ft. tube light consuming 55 Watts. CFL tube of 11 W complete with elegant plastic cabinet with reflector and small inverter inside the cabinet to make very high frequency current is available in the market at Rs 200/-. Two wheeler small battery costs only Rs 250/- to 300/-
- Sealed maintenance free battery of 12 V x 4.5 Ah with only 1.5 kg. weight will be able to provide very bright light for 3 hours to CFL tube comfortably. Battery should be charged every day.
- Set of CFL tube and battery costs not more than Rs. 500/-. So even if Government provides it free of cost to 10 crores homes, it will be the expense of Rs. 5000/- crores which is only 1% expense of annual budget of Government of India.
- For battery charging, good community battery chargers are available at Rs. 3000/- to 3500/-. It will charge 30 batteries at a time. So during the 12 hours, 2 batches of 30 batteries can be charged. So one battery charger will be able to serve 60 homes. So for every 60 homes, one battery charger should be installed. Individual tiny battery charger is also available at Rs 100/- to 125/-
- Community battery charger can be installed by Gram Panchayat or by Co-operative Society or by any private woman in her home.
- Power consumption of 11 W CFL tube for 3 hours will be only 33 W. Let us assume 40 W. To charge again 40 W, electricity of 50 W will be used in the battery charger. 50 W is 5% of 1000 W i.e. 1 KWH which costs Rs. 5/- only. So 5% of Rs. 5/- is only 25 paise. So for 30 days it will be only Rs. 7.50. Gram Panchayat or any NGO can charge Rs. 30/- per month from every home for battery charging service. If private woman is the owner of battery charger, she can charge Rs. 1/- per day out of which expense will be only 25 paise. So from 60 homes, she will be able to earn Rs. 45/- per day at her home. Her annual income will be Rs. 16000/- against the investment of Rs. 3000/-to 3500/- for battery charger.
- So all the poor people will have good light in their home at the expense of Rs. 1/- per day at the most. No application to electricity board, no any money deposit, no meter rent, no formality, no harassment of electricity board, no house wiring. Only requirement is that electricity should be available for battery charging in the concerned village. In every village, where there is grid connection, at least a few people will have electricity in their homes. Out of them, one or two home can install community battery charger and provide the service of charging 60 batteries per day.
- Where there is no grid connection for battery charging, but if wind is available, small wind turbine of 1.5 KW can be installed which will be sufficient for charging 60 batteries per day. Such wind turbine will cost Rs. 1.5 lakhs. But it will be far cheaper than extending transmission lines and distribution lines. Or solar modules can be installed for battery charging. But in that case, centralized battery charging is not essential. In every home, battery charging can be arranged.
- If we implement this scheme completely and successfully within 3 years, the entire world will be astonished to see that not a single home of India is without electricity. This will be splendid success eventhough we are able to provide only one light to every home. One such light in every home will be just like paradise to poor people.
But to implement this scheme completely in 2 years, the following actions are essential.
- All taxes such as central excise, VAT, sales tax, octroi, income-tax etc. must be abolished for CFL Tubes, inverters, plastic cabinets, batteries and battery chargers used in this scheme.
- Micro Finance institutions should provide finance of Rs. 3500/- for purchasing battery charger at every village or community or urban slums.
- 100% finance and 75% subsidy should be made available to the person who establishes small wind turbine of 1.5 KW for battery charging with the condition that he will not charge more than Rs. 1/- (or say 1.50) for battery charging for poor people.
I feel that this is most practicable and the cheapest scheme of providing at least one light in all the 10 crores poor homes of India.