A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a Rs 16,000-crore scheme to provide electricity to over 4 crore households by December 2018, Power Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Tuesday said that the government will go to people’s doorsteps to provide them with an electricity connection, CNN-TV18 reported. He said that the government will be allocating Rs 4000 crore in the current fiscal and is expecting to add another 6000-7000 MW into the system.
The power secretary also said that the consumers will have to pay to for the electricity they consume. Under Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana Saubhagya, the government proposes to provide electricity to all households by December 2018, ahead of the earlier target of March 2019.
Ajay Kumar Bhalla also said that discom financials have improved post-UDAY scheme and if needed, discoms can buy more power.
The Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) was launched in November 2015. Under the scheme, states would start taking over losses of Discomes in a graded manner, starting with taking over 5 per cent of the losses of FY17 from the current financial year.
The power secretary also informed that there were many power purchase agreements (PPA) that were pending and that they needed to be honoured as per the provisions of the government.
The Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC) will remain the nodal agency for the operationalisation of the Saubhagya scheme throughout the country. In 2015, the prime minister had announced to electrify the remaining 18,452 unelectrified villages in 1,000 days in his Independence Day speech. However, the Power Ministry is expected to electrify all habited villages by December this year.
According to GARV portal, out of the 18,452 villages, 14,483 villages have been electrified so far. The electrification work is in progress on 2981 villages while 988 villages are uninhabited. The portal also indicates that out of the 17.92 crore households in rural areas, 13.87 crore families have got electricity connections. As many as 4.05 crore families are yet to be provided electricity connections.