Rajasthan is progressing towards complete rural electrification with only one village, Dheeya in Udaipur district, remaining to be covered under Centre’s ambitious Deendayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), Union power minister Piyush Goyal said Friday.
Goya, however, added that about 22 lakh rural households in Rajasthan are still without a power connection.
“Nearly, 22 lakh households in rural areas are yet to get electricity supply, and the work will be completed in the next 18 months,” Goyal said.
A village is considered electrified if public places and 10 per cent of its households have access to electricity.
Goyal said the government aims to provide electricity to hamlets in Rajasthan through off-grid projects and is drawing up a schedule to achieve the goal in the next 18 months. Many villages in remote or forest areas in state have already been given power connections through off-grid solar panel systems, the power minister said while interacting with the media in Jaipur and other cities via video conference from New Delhi.
He accused the previous Congress government of “utter mismanagement” of state discoms and said it was the BJP that pulled the power distribution companies out of losses.
“When the BJP came to power in Rajasthan in 2013, the Discoms were suffering Rs 15,000 crore losses yearly,” Goyal said while lauding the Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government for “pulling out” the discoms from the losses and “mismanagement”.
“There has to be a collective effort to achieve 24-hour uninterrupted electricity supply and cheap power. If people pay their bills in time and do not indulge in power theft, then it can be achieved,” he said.
According to Union power ministry data, 426 of the 495 villages in the state have been electrified under DDUGJY – a Centre-sponsored electrification scheme.
Of the remaining, 68 villages are inhabited whereas work in one village is pending, it said.
Out of the total 90,46,216 households in the state, 21,78,845 are yet to be electrified under the scheme. The process of taking electricity to 69,058 villages is in progress, the data said.