Amazed by the progress Gujarat has made in the power sector, the union power minister, Piyush Goyal on Friday announced to replicate Gujarat’s flagship scheme of Jyoti Gram Yojana (JGY), which is aimed at providing 24-hour electricity to non-agriculture consumers in the state.

“We have interacted with the state energy minister, Saurabhbhai Patel and his team and observed how Gujarat has progressed on power front under the Jyoti Gram Yojana. My ministry’s first work will be to replicate the Jyoti Gram Yojana of Gujarat in other states with necessary modifications,” said Goyal after a detailed meeting with the state energy minister and officials in Gandhinagar.

Interestingly, in 2011 the Planning Commission of India, then under the UPA government, had issued a draft accepting the Jyoti Gram Yojana as a flagship scheme for the 12{+t}{+h} five year plan (2012-17) for the power sector in the country.

JGY, announced in 2003, was aimed at making available 3-phase quality power supply for 24-hours to all the villages and their Hamlets for non-agricultural activities. The scheme provides for a separate electric feeder for domestic use. It also provides limited but quality supply of power to agriculture for about eight hours a day.

Over the years, JGY became the backbone of electricity penetration in the state. Under the scheme, a parallel fresh rural distribution network of 78,454 kilometres (HT and LT lines) was laid covering entire state. This separated agricultural consumers to facilitate load management and regulate agricultural consumption without affecting power supply to other consumers. The scheme involved total expenditure of Rs 1290 crore, of which Rs 1110 crore was provided by the state government, the rest was born by the four discoms of the state.

Goyal, who was accompanied by Neerja Mathur, Chairperson, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), along with Devendra Chaudhary, additional secretary, Ministry of Power, also mentioned that the promises made in the BJP’s election manifesto for 2014 stating that the party’s major thrust area for rural development would be to improve village-level infrastructure in terms of roads, potable water, education, health, supply chain, electricity broadband, job creation, security in rural areas and linkage to markets.

Gujarat government’s energy minister, Saurabh Patel and senior bureaucrat D J Pandian, additional chief secretary showcased Gujarat's success in the power front with detailed presentations from various departments.

Last week, Goyal had expressed willingness to visit Gujarat and get a first hand experience of the power scenario in the state. After assuming office on May 27, Goyal had said that he will meet the state minister along with study the best practices of the Gujarat Model so as to turnaround the Country's energy sector.

Gujarat currently, enjoys power surplus with an installed capacity of 22,524 Mw against demand for 13,000 Mw. This is in stark contrast to many other states in the country including Delhi which faces frequent load shedding.

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