The Prime Minister in his address to the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort on the occasion of Independence Day on 15th August, 2015 announced that the remaining 18500 odd unelectrified villages in the country would be electrified within the next 1000 days.
Besides, access to electricity, ensuring quality and reliability of power supply; especially in rural areas, is an important aspect to meet the expectation of people at large. Therefore, an integrated scheme, covering all aspects of power distribution in rural areas was conceptualised and launched by the Government of India for rural areas namely ‘Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY)’.
Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY)
The scheme envisages –
- Electrification of un-electrified villages,
- Intensive electrification of already electrified villages to provide access to households,
- Strengthening and augmentation of sub-transmission and distribution infrastructure to improve quality and reliability of power supply,
- Feeder separation to provide assured power supply to farmers, and
- Metering of feeders, distribution transformers and consumers to facilitate energy audit and reduction of losses.
The erstwhile rural electrification scheme was subsumed in DDUGJY as a separate rural electrification component. The total outlay of the scheme is Rs 75,893 crore with Gross Budgetary Support from Government of India of Rs 63,027 crores.
Planning and Strategy
- Proper Identification of villages with Census 2011 Code – All States were requested to identify remaining un-electrified villages with census code of 2011 to exactly find out the name, geographical location, demography etc. for robust planning.
- Solar PV based off-grid solutions for remote/inaccessible villages – It was observed that many of these remaining un-electrified villages are located in remote areas, areas with difficult terrain in snowbound hills or in the deep forest and in Left Wing Extremism affected areas etc. Therefore, it was decided that in case grid extension to some of the villages is either not feasible or cost effective, such villages would be electrified through off-grid mode using Solar Photovoltaic mode based solutions.
- Standard Bidding Documents – e-tenders were focused on.
- Innovative financing – In addition to the budgetary support, the Ministry of Finance also allowed Ministry of Power to raise money from the market, in the form of bonds, through financial institutions like PFC and REC. Rs 9,000 crores were raised in the last two financial years through this Extra Budgetary Resource (EBR).
- Flexibility to States for execution of works – States was given adequate liberty to execute projects on turnkey/partial turnkey/departmental mode as per the suitability and their choice.
- Handholding States/Discoms – In order to strengthen and augment capacities of the State DISCOMs/Power Department, REC appointed Gram Vidyut Abhiyanta at block/district level to assist them in monitoring and expeditious implementation of the program.
- Milestone based monitoring – These milestones include the entire process right from the award of work, survey, material procurement, material delivery at site, erection and commissioning and energization etc.
- Transparency and accountability – To ensure transparency and dissemination of information to public at large with regard to process and progress on electrification of these villages, mobile App ‘Garv’ was launched.
- Regular review and monitoring – A system for regular review and monitoring at the central level as well as at State and DISCOM level was established for review and monitoring.
- Progress on village electrification improved exponentially during 2015-16 (7108 villages electrified) as compared to previous years and it was more than consolidated progress of previous three years.
- The dynamism of this assignment can be gauged from the fact that during the execution process, 9 States reported another 1228 census villages which they found un-electrified, Electrification of all such villages was also taken up promptly.
Thus, with the support of States, Discoms, contractors, vendors, equipment manufacturers and people of the States, completion of the target well before the deadline of 1000 days fixed by the Prime Minister became feasible.
The journey for Ministry of Power, however, still continues. Its next target is to electrify all the households in the country. For this it has launched ‘Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana’ Saubhagya to provide last mile connectivity and service connections to all remaining households in both rural and urban areas to achieve universal household electrification in the country by 31st March 2019.
Source – Yojana Magazine
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