15 states have 100% household electrification now, says govt
Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram, Sikkim, Telangana and West Bengal have achieved 100% household electrification under the Centre’s Saubhagya scheme and a total of 15 states in the country have now 100% household electrification, the Centre declared on Thursday.
The other states, which have already achieved 100% household electrification are: Punjab, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa.
The announcement was made by union minister of state (independent charge) for power and renewable energy RK Singh after the Review, Planning & Monitoring (RPM) Meeting with states and state power utilities . The minister added that as many as 21 million connections have been made under the scheme so far.
Saubhagya – ‘Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana’ was launched in September, 2017 with the aim to provide access to electricity to all remaining households in the country. The Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government is likely to emphasise this achievement to burnish its development credentials ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections.
“Many more states such as Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh etc. are left with small number of un-electrified households and expected to achieve saturation any time.” Singh said adding that with the present pace of electrification, the country is expected to achieve 100% coverage by December.
“It’s been a great initiative of the government but the next challenge would be to ensure that affordable power is provided 24x7 to these households. Most of these connections are off-grid connections...,” said Debashish Mishra, partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP.
Singh said that states have been requested to publicise the achievement, so that anyone left out may avail electricity connection under Saubhagya.
“The achievement of 100% household electrification in the country will be a major milestone in the direction to achieve 24x7 power for all. The Government is committed to ensure 24x7 access to electricity for all by March, 2019,” Singh said.
The centre, in October also announced an award scheme under Saubhagya aimed at creating healthy competition amongst various DISCOMs/Power Departments of States.
Under the award scheme the first DISCOM/Power Departments to complete 100% household electrification will be felicitated with a cash award of ₹50 lakh, to be shared between employees and a ₹100 crore grant to be spent for distribution infrastructure, the centre announced. “The states completing 100% household electrification by 31st Dec. 2018 will also receive additional grant of 15% of the project cost (5% for special category states) sanctioned under Saubhagya,” he added.
The government previously took up the task for electrification of remaining un-electrified census villages, duly identifiable as per census code under the ‘Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana’ (DDUGJY). 18,452 census villages in the country (out of total inhabited villages of 5,97,644 as per census 2011) were reported un-electrified by states till April, 2015. The centre, in April, announced that these villages have been electrified.
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