THE UPA Government at the Centre may have its reasons to condemn the Mulayam Government for ‘slow’ implementation of the Centre-sponsored schemes, but it is Uttar Pradesh only that has left all other states far behind in implementing the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY).
The Jojana, a dream project of the Centre was launched in April 2005 and it aims at providing electricity to all villages and habitations in four years.
While the states like Jharkhand, Orissa and Gujarat are yet to electrify even a single village under the scheme, UP has already achieved more than 41 per cent target for the year 2006-07 by electrifying around 13,000 villages in the first phase. And unlike many other states like Bihar and West Bengal where the progress is stagnant, in UP number of electrified villages is swelling each day.
“We will finish the entire work under the first phase by January itself, though we have time till March 2007,” claimed UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) Managing Director Avnish Awasthi who along with his boss and Chairman AK Khurana regularly monitors the executing agencies’ work.
“Certainly, the performance of UP, which also has the backlog of maximum number of un-electrified villages, has been better than any other State as far as achieving the targets under the first phase is concerned,” said Director, Rural Electrification, Union Ministry of Power, Dharitri Panda from Delhi when contacted on phone.
She said Karnataka had achieved 100 per cent electrification of a few hamlets that were left. She said UP was trying to achieve the targets of the first phase before the deadline.
The progress report on electrification of villages under the RGGVY, as available with the Union Ministry of Power, shows that till August 31, Bihar had electrified 2,662 villages out the target of 9,097 villages set by the Centre for the year 2006-7.
This is only 29 per cent of the target. West Bengal could electrify 803 villages against the target of 3,240 villages, which is 22 per cent of the total target.
Rajasthan has been able to electrify only 273 villages against the target of 1,436 villages, achieving 16 per cent of the target.
The Congress-ruled Uttaranchal has achieved only 17 per cent of the target for the 2006-07 by electrifying as few as 116 villages out the targeted 574 villages. The national average is as low as 33 per cent.
Having already achieved almost half of the target UP is also the only state to have made claim for the third instalment of the funds to be released by the Centre under the RGGVY.
“The Centre has already sanctioned around Rs 300 cr as the third instalment,” said UPPCL, GM (Rural Electrification) Nand Lal.
Significantly, within UP also, the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL), a Central government organisation, trails far behind the UPPCL in achieving the target.
The PGCIL has been given the contract for electrifying villages in eight districts of Rae Bareli, Sultanpur, Sitapur, Azamgarh, Mau, Balia, Deoria and Kushinagar. But it has achieved only 26 per cent of the target so far against the UPPCL’s 48 per cent.