Amit Shah’s Claims On Swachh Bharat Right, Sex Ratio in Haryana And Village Electrification Wrong
On August 3, 2017, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah addressed a press conference in Rohtak, Haryana, and made some claims about the performance of the central government and the state government, both led by Shah’s BJP.
We fact-checked some of his major claims and found one right and two wrong.
Claim 1: In past three years of BJP rule, 18,000 villages have been electrified and by May 2018, all villages will be electrified.
Fact: No more than 14,125 villages have been electrified till August 8, 2017, according to the government’s dashboard that monitors real-time data on electrification.
The target is 18,452 villages that were not electrified when the BJP everywhere came to power in May 2014 of which 966 (5%) are uninhabited.
Therefore, 3,361 villages are yet to be electrified.
The BJP target of electrifying all villages by May 2018 was promised by Piyush Goyal, minister of state for power, coal, new and renewable energy and mines, Indian Express reported on May 20, 2017.
To achieve the target, the government would have electrify 336 villages every month till end of May 2018.
Electrification does not equate to electricity for all, FactChecker reported on November 19, 2015.
Almost 96% villages in North India are electrified but only 69% of homes have electricity, IndiaSpend reported on October 1, 2015 based on a report by Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity – Survey of States (ACCESS) that drew data from six states.
The definition of electrified village has changed over the years. Before October 1997, a village was classified as “electrified” if electricity was used within its revenue area for any purpose whatsoever.
After October 1997, a village was declared “electrified” if the electricity was used in the inhabited locality within the revenue boundary of the village for any purpose whatsoever.
The ministry of power defines a village (from 2004-05) as electrified if:
- Basic power infrastructure, such as a transformer and distribution lines, is provided in the inhabited locality as well as associated dalit bastis (Dalit settlements, which are often excluded from village facilities), where they exist.
- Electricity is provided to public places such as schools, panchayat (village council) offices, health centres, dispensaries and community centres.
- The number of households electrified should be at least 10% of the total number of households in the village.
Habitations with population below 100 are still excluded from Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana, (Deen Dayal Upadhyay Village Electrification Progamme, DDGJY) as the FAQs section of its website explains:
Question: “The main village has been electrified but our habitation is left out, when will it be electrified? Whom should I approach?”
Response: Habitations with population below one hundred are not included as per the approved DDUGJY programme. It is proposed to cover the left out habitations, if any, in the phase-II of the programme. The commencement of phase-II is to be decided by the Govt. of India.
Claim 2: By 2022, we will ensure every household has electricity.
Fact: As on August 7, 2017, 42.35 million households (24%) are yet to be electrified of a target of 178.8 million. To achieve this target by end of 2022 (though he didn’t mention end of 2022 explicitly), the government needs to electrify 0.65 million households every month.
In July 2017, 0.34 million households were electrified, according to latest data.
Therefore, to achieve the 2022 target, households have to be electrified faster than the current rate.
Claim 3: By 2022, we will also achieve our vision of clean India,and till now, around 4.5 crore toilets have been built
Fact: He is correct. As on August 7, 2017, 45.7 million household toilets have been built, according to data from Swachh Bharat Mission (Clean India Mission).
Claim 3: Under the chief ministership of Manohar Lal Khattar, Haryana has reached a sex ratio at birth of 950.
Fact: He is wrong.
On April 8, 2017, Khattar had tweeted a newspaper report based on official data and claimed that Haryana had indeed reached a sex ratio at birth of 950.
A month prior to this tweet, he had tweeted: “The sex ratio at birth has increased to 938, from the earlier 850. Our Govt. will achieve the sex ratio target of 950 by this year”.
The sex ratio at birth has increased to 938, from the earlier 850. Our Govt. will achieve the sex ratio target of 950 by this year.— Manohar Lal (@mlkhattar) March 15, 2017
An audit of figures by the campaign team of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (Save the girl, educate the girl) found that the data reported by eight of 10 districts in the first quarter of this year were misrepresented and fudged, The Times of India reported on May 13, 2017.
In some cases, they were inflated. In others, newborn girls were registered on priority in the quarter under review while male children were registered in the next quarter to manipulate the final outcome.
The audit, which began in April, found that Panipat, which ranked second in the January-March list with a sex ratio of 1,007 (yes, more girls than boys) had overshot the actual number by 135. The revised number stands at 872.
- The figure of 336 villages per month in claim 1 was calculated by target villages per month = Villages not electrified yet/total months. There are 10 months from August 2017 to May 2018.
- The figure of 0.65 million households per month in claim 2 was calculated as following: Target households per month = Households not electrified yet/total months. From beginning of 2018 to end of 2022, there are 60 months. And add five months to it including August. Therefore, total months= 65.