Seventy years after independence, India is racing to connect thousands of villages with electricity as it looks to accelerate growth whose dividend are distributed to all.
Year 2017 was an important year, when government unveiled Rs 16,320 crore Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (SAUBHAGYA) in September to provide electricity connection to around 4 crore families in rural and urban areas by March 2019.
However, the Power Ministry’s internal target to achieve universal electrification under the Saubhagya scheme is December, 2018.
Providing a connection would not help the poor people particularly in rural in view of their lower paying capacity and irregular incomes.
In order to boost electricity consumption particularly in rural areas under the Saubhagya scheme, the government has planned installation of more and more pre-paid meters.
The objective of Saubhagya scheme is to provide last mile connectivity and electricity connections to all households in rural and urban areas.
Under the scheme free of cost electricity connections to all remaining un-electrified households with at least one deprivation on the basis of SECC (Socio Economic Caste Economic) data in rural areas and economically poor households in urban areas would be given.
The others families would be charged a sum of Rs 500 per household in ten equal instalments with the bill.
Besides that families located in remote and inaccessible areas would be provided with Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) based standalone systems with LED lights, fan, power plug etc. The beneficiaries will be identified on the basis of socio economic conditions using SECC 2011 data.
The effective implementation of UDAY scheme meant for revival of debt-laden discoms, would also make difference in 2018.
Besides, the power ministry is about to bring hydro power policy which provides for incentives to the tune of Rs 16,000 crore for this segment.
Reference: The Economic Times