NEW DELHI: A day after he was accused of tweeting “fake” satellite images of India to highlight the success of government’s electrification program, railway minister Piyush Goyal today tweeted two links to prove the authenticity of his claim.
“There is nothing fake about the latest NASA images depicting the humongous change in India’s brightness at night. National Geographic also analysed this data and credited rural electrification among other factors,” the minister said in a tweet along with two links from NASA and National Geographic to drive home his point.
The NASA link had an interactive map of India which allowed a comparison of composite night-time views of India and surrounding areas in 2012 and 2016.
The second link was a National Geographic article praising the government’s “rural electrification program” for the “dramatic brightness” visible on the map.
“That India has brightened dramatically… its government has been working to change that by establishing a rural electrification program and investing heavily in renewable energy,” the article wrote.
Yesterday, Goyal found himself in the middle of a controversy after he tweeted before and after satellite images of India, hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s effort to achieve the target of electrifying all villages two weeks before the target date.
“Under the decisive leadership of PM Narendra Modi India has finally been able to electrify all its villages before the set target date. With the elimination of darkness from the lives of fellow Indian villagers, we commit ourselves to building a new and #PowerfulIndia,” he had tweeted.
Twitter user pointed out that the images do not represent the before and after situation of electrification in India. The first image was released by the US space agency in 2012, the second was released last year but is from 2016
While others slammed the minister for peddling photoshopped images and also questioned the authenticity of government’s claims.
On Sunday, the government had announced that the country has achieved the target of electrifying its villages 12 days ahead of a deadline set by PM Modi.