Smaller villages, more BPL families to get electricity

Siddhartha P. Saikia New Delhi | Updated on August 23, 2013

Power Ministry revamps rural electrification scheme

Now, villages with just 100 people would also get access to electricity. The Power Ministry has re-vamped the UPA Government’s flagship Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) to facilitate electricity to smaller hamlets and cover more below poverty line (BPL) families.

Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia has restructured the scheme to make it effective, so that more families get access to electricity.

Under the scheme, the Government provides free electricity connections to BPL households at the rate of Rs 3,000 a connection in villages. Earlier, villages with at least 300 people were considered for the programme.

“I have put in place a new auditing system, wherein I will not only be looking at electrification and infrastructure but also in energisation. Based on energisation, successive tranches would be given,” Scindia said on Friday.

Simply put, in the new execution model, each big project would be divided into discrete sub-projects. The contractor would buy equipment for the sub project and implement it. Once, the first step is done, funds for second tranche would be released.

The scheme was launched in April 2005. Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs extended RGGVY to the 12th Five-Year Plan Period. The total requirement of capital subsidy will be Rs 35,447 crore, including Rs 12,849 core towards spill over works.

Scindia explained that earlier 10 per cent of villages were audited. In those villages, only 25 per cent of BPL families were considered. However, in the new scheme, 20 per cent of the villages would be audited with inclusion of 100 per cent BPL families residing in those areas.

Nearly, 413 projects under RGGVY were taken up in the 11th Five-Year Plan period. Of these, 145 projects are close to completion and they would be executed and audited as per the earlier model. But, 196 projects would be audited in the new model and remaining 72 projects would be audited and executed in the new model.

These projects were targeted at 1,12,000 villages and 1,07,000 villages have been electrified. Nearly 2.77 crore BPL families were targeted. Out of this, 1.95 crore has been offered access.

In the 12th Five-Year Plan period, RGGVY targets to cover 88,000 villages with close to two crore BPL families.

Published on August 23, 2013

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