Centre prepones 100% household electrification deadline to year-end
New Delhi: After 100 percent village electrification, now the government prepones its timeline of electrification of every households and hamlet by December 31, 2018, from March 2019.
During a press conference here the Minister of State (I/C) for Power and Renewable Energy Raj Kumar Singh further clarified the government's position, countering news reports claimed that multiple villages in the country are yet to be electrified.
"Electrification of all villages has been reported complete by all the concerned states. Some of the households in sub-village units like habitations/hamlets/Dhanis/Majras/Tolas may not be having electricity. But the government has already launched 'Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana'- 'Saubgaya' to provide last mile connectivity and service connections to all remaining households in both rural and urban areas to achieve universal household electrification."
Adding further the minister said, "Each village has pockets of houses under multiple hamlets within itself. These hamlets will be electrified as the households are connected. We had set a target of connecting each household in the country by December 31, 2018."
Meanwhile, a power official also claimed that nearly 83 per cent of all households in the country have electricity connections. "Around 3.5 crore households are left and the government would achieve its target by the time," he added.
A government statement mentioned, "It is worthwhile to mention that most of the remaining villages were located in remote and inaccessible areas with difficult hilly terrain, deep forest areas, Left Wing Extremism affected areas and therefore probably remained neglected for electrification. The progress of village electrification in three years from 2012-13 to 2014-15, prior to the commencement of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), on an average was only 1730 villages per year, including lowest ever figure of 1197 villages in 2013-14."
According to the power ministry in Madhya Pradesh, 3 villages in Alirajpur District namely Jhandana, Amba and Chameli are situated in submerged areas of Sardar Sarovar. The villagers have been shifted to Kakrana village which is electrified but some villagers have shifted to another nearby locality which is a habitation not yet electrified.
In Raisen District, Khananpura village is already electrified and intensive electrification in associated Tola is in progress.
The other 5 villages of Raisen district namely Jaitgarh, Bili, Pond, Ramgarh and Gopalpur are forest villages wherein households have been electrified with solar power.
In Rajasthan, all inhabited revenue/census villages in Dholpur district are reported to be electrified. The names of villages reported in the news articles are in fact Dhanis and not the revenue/census village.
Intensive electrification works of Gole ka Pura and Shankar Pura Dhanis have been completed and in remaining Dhanis, namely Ghuraiya Hera, Hathiyakhar, Kehri ka Nagla, Haripura, and Thakur Pura, the intensive electrification works are in progress. The Rajghat village is presently covered under the municipal area of Dholpur and as such the households in urban areas are having access to electricity unless disconnected.
In Jharkhand, the Saprum village reported in the news reports is an electrified village but power is disrupted since long.
The power minister also travelled in various states and held meeting with the respective Chief Secretaries, power secretaries and state DISCOMs to get the status on electrification.
The government even assured of 24*7 power supply to households and it further proposes to amend the Electricity Act to ensure that companies applying for power distribution rights in an area have signed sufficient power purchase agreements (PPAs) to ensure uninterrupted supply to consumers.
While addressing the media persons the minister asserted that the changes to the law were being proposed in order to help achieve the next target. "The root of the problems is the DISCOMs' incapacity to buy power because they are running losses and this fundamental problem needs to be addressed. We are going to propose amendments to the (Electricity) Act that if a DISCOM's demand is 5,000 MW, then it should have entered into PPAs for that amount of power," Singh mentioned.
He also said that although there was a power market in the country in the way of exchanges, it commanded supplies that were limited and variable.