With launch of new scheme, power department demands more fund for total electrification

With the launch of Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna or ‘Saubhagya’ scheme, authorities are demanding ₹312 crore more for total rural electrification

jaipur Updated: Jan 01, 2018 20:46 IST
Mukesh Mathrani
Mukesh Mathrani
Hindustan Times
DDUGJY,Saubhagya,Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna
Until August, Barmer was provided with a budget of ₹469 crore under DDUGJY, which was the highest in Rajasthan.(Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

Until August, with a budget of ₹469 crore – the highest in Rajasthan – under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), Barmer power department officials and public representatives were claiming to provide total rural electrification by 2018.

But with the launch of Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna or ‘Saubhagya’ scheme, authorities have backtracked, demanding ₹312 crore more for total rural electrification.

The power department announced that allotted budget to provide electricity connection to rural households under DDUGJY, it not sufficient.

With the launch of the new scheme, authorities say that the earlier criteria of providing power connections to households within a radius of 500m, has to be changed.

Power department officials say that they can now provide electricity connections only to households that are situated within a radius of 300m from a transformer.

Due to the new criteria, officials say they will not able to provide electricity connections to more than one lakh households out of the total three lakh and have demanded ₹312 crore more for total rural electrification.

In September, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched “Saubhagya”, a ₹ 16,320 crore scheme to provide electricity to all rural households across the country by December 2018.

Earlier in July 2015, the Modi government launched the DDUGJY to provide electricity in all villages across the country by May 2018.

Mangilal Jat, superintending engineer at the Barmer power department, said they have recently submitted a detail project report to the state government seeking ₹312 crore under “Saubhagya” scheme for total electrification.

The project has been approved and the department is expecting a budgetary allocation by January 2018, after which work will be started, he said.

“Earlier the department received a sanction of ₹ 469 crore under the DDUGJY but it was not sufficient to provide electricity to households which are within a radius of 300m from a transformer,” he said.

“Considering the changed scenario, we have submitted a fresh proposal to the government and demanded more fund under Saubhagya scheme to meet the deadline for total rural electrification.”

In April 2005, Rajiv Gandhi Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGVY) was launched by the UPA government for total rural electrification by March 2022.

More than 54,000 households in Barmer applied for electricity connection under the scheme, however, the Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government, put the schemes launched by the previous Congress government on hold for “further review.”

District Congress vice president Yagyadutt Joshi said that after coming to power in the state, BJP leaders and the government earlier said they will provide total electricity under DDUGJY by May 2018 and now they have extended the deadline to December 2018 after launching the new scheme.

“The BJP leadership and government officials who earlier said they will provide total electrification under the available budget of Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, have now demanded more fund under the new scheme but two years on, work on the project is yet to start.

“Apart from changing the scheme named after former PM Rajiv Gandhi to Jan Sangh ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, the BJP government has not made any modification (in the scheme).”

First Published: Jan 01, 2018 20:46 IST