In order to meet the target of providing uninterrupted power to all by 2019, Power Minister Piyush Goyal has asked states to give “on demand” electricity connections to above poverty line (APL) consumers on monthly instalments and has offered funding for that.
“I have asked all states to provide power connections to APL consumers on demand with the facility of EMI. We are ready to provide funds for the purpose through Power Finance Corp and Rural Electrification Corp for the purpose,” Goyal told reporters after the launch of second generation GARV-II app for tracking rural electrification in real-time basis on Tuesday.
At present, the below poverty line (BPL) families are being provide free of cost electricity connections by the state governments through their power distribution utilities.
Exuding confidence that GARV-II mobile phone application and portal will ensure effective and transparent implementation of rural electrification programme, Goyal referred to Nagla Fatela village electrification controversy.
He said it will not only speed up the process of providing electricity connections to over five crore families in rural India who don’t have access to the service but also improve transparency.
Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken the name of Nagla Fatela as electrified village in his independence day speech but later authorities reportedly came to know that it had not been electrified.
Admitting that there is a lot of work to be done in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar for providing electricity to all in the states Goyal said: “Because of this (transparency on GARV app) the village got the power by 4 pm.”
According to the GARV-II data, rural electrification programme needs to be stepped up in states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand where 47 per cent, 45 per cent and 30 per cent rural households are electrified.
At present 70.51 per cent or 12.38 crore rural households are electrified in the country out of 17.57 crore families living in villages in the country. Some of the states where all rural families have access to electricity include Gujarat, Goa, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. The minister said putting rural electrification data in public domain will improve the efficacy of the programme and keep centre as well as state implementing agencies on toes and consumer will be benefited.
The earlier version of GARV mobile phone application used to provide data about rural electrification regarding 18,452 un-electrified villages.