Saubhagya Scheme: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched a new scheme – Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana –“Saubhagya” for “free” electrification of all willing households (around 4 crore) in the country in rural as well as urban areas by December 18.
Modi used the occasion of birth centenary of Deendayal Upadhaya to launch “Saubhagya” (meaning good luck) in Delhi. He said that free electricity connections will be provided to the 4 crore out of 25 crore hosueholds which are still without electricity. Quoting Thomas Edison, the inventor of electricity, Modi said, “We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles.” However, in India, poor still have to burn candles, Modi said, adding the new scheme is to help eliminate darkness in the lives of 4 crore households without electricity.
In 2015, Modi had set a target of 1,000 days for electrifying the 18,452 villages that did not have electricity connection. On Monday, Modi said the government will electrify 2,986 remaining villages by December 2017 to help take power to all households by December 2018.
Here are all the must-know facts about the scheme you should know, according to a release by Ministry of Power:
- Total outlay of the project is Rs. 16, 320 crore while the Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) is Rs. 12,320 crore.
- Outlay for rural households is Rs. 14,025 crore while the GBS is Rs. 10,587.50 crore. For the urban households, the outlay is Rs. 2,295 crore while GBS is Rs. 1,732.50 crore.
- Government of India will provide most of the funds for the Scheme to all States/UTs.
- States and Union Territories are required to complete the works of household electrification by the 31st of December 2018.
- Beneficiaries for free electricity connections would be identified using Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 data.
- An un-electrified households not covered under the SECC data would also be provided electricity connections under the scheme on payment of Rs. 500 which shall be recovered by DISCOMs in 10 instalments through electricity bill.
- Solar power packs of 200 to 300 Wp with battery bank for un-electrified households located in remote and inaccessible areas, comprises of Five LED lights, One DC fan, One DC power plug. It also includes the Repair and Maintenance (R&M) for 5 years.
Modi government aims to achieve these with this scheme:
(a)Environmental upgradation by substitution of Kerosene for lighting purposes
(b) Improvement education services
(c) Better health services
(d) Enhanced connectivity through radio, television, mobiles, etc.
(e) Increased economic activities and jobs
(f) Improved quality of life especially for women
- Under the scheme, modern technology will be used for household survey by using Mobile App. Beneficiaries shall be identified and their application for electricity connection along with applicant photograph and identity proof shall be registered on spot.
- The Gram Panchayat/Public institutions in the rural areas may be authorised to collect application forms along with complete documentation, distribute bills and collect revenue in consultation with the Panchayat Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies.
- The Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC) will remain the nodal agency for the operationalisation of the scheme throughout the country.