Progress and Issues in Rural Electrification in Bihar, India: A Preliminary Analysis
Rural electrification has been an important part of government policy since India gained independence. However, despite the number of electrified villages expanding rapidly in recent years, there are many that still remain un-electrified. This paper addresses the issue of intra-state disparity in access to electricity and examines the determinants of electrification at the village level using data from a survey conducted in rural Bihar, one of the underdeveloped states in India. An econometric analysis demonstrates that small villages in remote locations tend to be considered a low priority in the process of electrification. Electrification at the village level in the more advanced states is no longer an issue, though the challenge of access to electrification at the household level remains. This paper also discusses issues that emerged from interviewing villagers and visiting rural areas, and shows that the actual progress of rural electrification may not be as advanced as government statistics indicate.
Keywords: Rural electrification, Bihar, India
JEL classification: H41, O20, Q40
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