Nagla fatela–a village otherwise barely spoken about has been a trending name in the minds of many ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a mention of this village in his Independence Day speech.
This village is currently the bone of contention between the UP state government and the power ministry as a media report quoted Uttar Pradesh authorities claiming that the village has been electrified since 1985 and people have been taking electricity illegally (using ‘katia’ connections’).
The PM in his Independence Day speech mentioned how a tiny village located 3 hours away from Delhi had to wait 70 years to get electricity. However, this became an issue when some MPs and MLAs of the state of Uttar Pradesh pointed fingers alleging the Modi government for misrepresenting facts.
Coming to the rescue, the Centre on Wednesday gave a point by point clarification and issued a show cause notice to UP’s power distribution company, Dakshinanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd (DVVNL) that had informed about the progress of electrification in Nagla Fatela, in the first place.
EnergyInfraPost.com saw documents and reports from top UP authorities and officials that clearly mentioned that Nagla Fatela was un-electrified till October 2015. The documents clearly revealed that instead of accepting the misrepresentation of Nagla Fatela by DVVNL, the same is rather being used as a tool by local leaders of Uttar Pradesh and some other opposition MPs to bring down the efforts of the BJP government in their drive to electrify the nation.
Countering the claims of UP officials who were quoted by a newspaper claiming that Nagla Fatela has been electrified since 1985 and people have been taking electricity illegally (using ‘katia’ connections’), union power minister Piyush Goyal questioned, “If this is the case why wasn’t action taken against electricity theft?.”
Goyal further added that if the village was electrified since 1985, then are they (UP government power deptt/authorities) siphoning of funds by telling the central government that the village is un-electrified? “If the village is electrified, why is power not being supplied? The Uttar Pradesh government is simply trying to politicise the issue,” Goyal added.
Documents e-mailed by a senior engineer of DVVNL on February 26, 2015 to Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) said that Nagla Fatela is among the 25 villages in the Hathras district (erstwhile Mahamaya Nagar district), that were un-electrified.
The same engineer confirmed on October 30, 2015 via an e-mail that the four villages in the district including Nagla Fatela was electrified. This was further verified by another senior Uttar Pradesh government official on November 24, 2015 which stated that 82 above poverty line households were getting electricity and no below poverty line households had electricity connections.
“It is only after we received this verification that we mentioned the village as energised in the GARV app,” said Goyal.
The show cause notice to DVVNL has been issued by REC and gives the state power distribution company three days to respond. Goyal said he wants to know why the Centre was informed that the village has been energised when in reality it hasn’t been.
Currently, Writing a Book for Penguin India Titled Greased Pole:How Politics and Lobbying Stifled India's Energy Dreams. The author can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org (9810661825)
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