New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government is close to meeting its village electrification target. Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal addressed the media yesterday on Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) here today. The Minister said, “Every State in the country has joined the ‘Power for All’ agreement.”
All the States have pledged to boost holistic development of entire village electrification process to provide 24×7 affordable and quality power to all which is planned under DDUGJY. The minister interacted with the regional media representatives from 12 State capitals through video conferencing and informed them about latest achievements under the DDUGJY scheme in the respective States. Goyal also launched the new dashboard for GARV application and booklet on rural electrification on the occasion.
Talking about the impact of good governance in Rural Electrification, the minister said, “The government is working on the concept of 4S: skill, speed, scale and now sewa to improve the lives of the rural populace as the prime priority. The minister further added, “We have changed the rules of this game. Instead of counting 10% households in the village to complete electrification process, now the government is focusing on providing power connections to each and every household of village, thus providing meaning to the concept of ‘Antyodaya’.”
On 20 November 2014, the Union government had approved Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), an integrated scheme covering all aspects of rural power distribution namely feeder segregation, system strengthening and metering. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day address to the nation in 2015 pledged to electrify all un-electrified villages in 1,000 days. His government, therefore, took up village electrification on a mission mode targeting completion by 1 May 2018.
Out of the 18,452 un-electrified census villages in the country, 13,469 villages have been electrified up to 15 May. A comparison of achievements and the physical & financial progress under rural electrification scheme in 2013-14 & 2016-17 is given as follows.
|Electrification of un-electrified villages||1,197||6,015 (5.02 times)||Balance un–electrified villages to be electrified by May 2018|
|Intensive electrification of villages
|14,956||63,330 (4.2 times)||85,000|
|Free Electricity Connections to BPL households*
|9.62||22.42 (2.3 times)||40 Lakh|
|Government of India Grant released to States**
|Rs. 2938.52 Crores||Rs. 7965.87 Crores (2.7 times)||Rs. 4814 Crores|
*Free electricity connections to BPL Households provided to 256.81Lakh BPL families up to 30th April 2017
** Release of highest ever grant in any FY of Rs 7965.87 Crores to States
Electrification in 3 years
The remaining rural electrification works of the former scheme have been subsumed into the DDUGJY. The scheme outlay is Rs 43,033 crore with Rs 33,453 crore grant from the central government. The overall outlay, with the subsumed rural electrification works, is Rs. 75,893 crore including a grant of Rs 63,027 crore from the Centre.
Under the new DDUGJY, the Union government provides grant at the rate of 60% of project cost (85% for special category States). Further, an additional grant at the rate of 15% grant is provided (5% for special category States) on the fulfilment of prescribed milestones. Under this scheme, the new projects with an outlay of Rs 42,553.17 crore have been approved for 32 States/UTs including works of Feeder Separation (Rs 15572.99 crore), system strengthening and connecting rural households (Rs 19706.59 crore), metering (Rs 3874.48 crore), village electrification (Rs 2792.57 crore) and Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (Rs 398.54 crore).
More than 350 Gram Vidyut Abhiyantas (GVA, rural electrical engineers) deployed in the field to monitor the progress of village electrification works. GARV mobile application was developed for monitoring the progress of electrification in 18,452 un-electrified villages, in line with the milestones. GVAs update in the GARV app, field photographs, data and other information. On 20 December 2016, updated GARV app had been launched for monitoring household electrification in all 5.97 lakh villages. Updated GARV has the special feature of SAMVAD — engaging the citizens for establishing transparency and accountability.
The scheme is expected to transform the lifestyle of villagers and bring in overall socio-economic development in rural areas through increased productivity in agriculture, by reducing drudgery for women, through improvement in children education, connectivity to all villages and households, viable and reliable electricity services in rural areas, improvement in delivery of health and education services, improvement in access to communications (radio, telephone, television, mobile) and improvement in public safety through lighting.
The scheme has complete flexibility for selecting the scope of works as per local requirement or priority of States. The population criteria have been dispensed with and all villages without any population restriction are eligible under the scheme.
The States are to consult the District Electricity Committee (DEC) while formulating DPRs and the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) proposals of Members of Parliament must be covered in the scheme. The scheme has other features like mandatory e-tendering, compliance of standard bidding document. Private distribution companies (discoms) and RE cooperative societies are also eligible under the scheme. The scheme is being reviewed by DISHA (District Development Coordination and Monitoring Committee). The Modi government says it is committed to transforming the lives of rural populace and provide 24×7 Power for All (PFA).