2 min read.Updated: 25 Sep 2021, 01:18 PM ISTLivemint
India has provided electricity access to 2.82 crore households as part of the ₹16,320 crore Saubhagya scheme, the largest global household electrification drive
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NEW DELHI: India has provided electricity access to 2.82 crore households as part of the ₹16,320 crore Saubhagya scheme, the largest global household electrification drive.
“2.82 crore households have been electrified since the launch of SAUBHAGYA. These figures are till March 31st of this year. As of march 2019, 2.63 crore willing un-electrified households in rural and urban areas of the country were provided electricity connections in a record time of 18 months," union power ministry said in a statement on Sunday on the completion of four years of the scheme that funds the cost of last-mile connectivity to ‘willing households’ and was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017.
This comes in the backdrop of the government’s efforts to ensure 24X7 power that is reliable, sustainable and affordable and at the time of undergoing work for ₹3.03 trillion power distribution company (discom) reform scheme. The reforms-based result-linked power distribution sector scheme to be applicable till 2025-26 was announced in the union budget presented earlier this year and will subsume programmes such as the Integrated Power Development Scheme and the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana.
“Subsequently seven states- Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Manipur, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh reported that around 18.85 lakh un-electrified households, identified before 31.03.2019, which were unwilling earlier, but later expressed their willingness to get electricity connections, were also covered under the scheme," the statement added.
Saubhagya was to provide electricity connections to 40 million Indian homes by March 2019. The target was reduced to 30 million rural and urban households after it was found that some households did not exist, or had already been electrified.
“While launching the scheme, the Prime Minister pledged to provide access to electricity and work towards equity, efficiency and sustainability in the New Age India," the statement said and added, “The total financial implications of the project was Rs. 16,320 crore while the Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) was Rs. 12,320 crore. The outlay for the rural households was Rs. 14,025 crore while the GBS was Rs. 10,587.50 crore. For the urban households, the outlay stood at Rs. 2,295 crore while GBS was Rs. 1,732.50 crore. The Government of India largely provided funds for the Scheme to all States/UTs."
India’s demand for electricity is growing which denotes a healthy growth of economy. India’s electricity demand was 124 billion units (BUs) in August as compared to 106 BUs recorded in the corresponding month in 2019 before coronavirus pandemic killed the demand in the country. In a reflection of revival of economic activity in the country, India’s peak electricity demand recorded an all-time high of 200.57 gigawatt (GW) on 7 July.
“The journey started with Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) which envisaged the creation of basic electricity infrastructure in villages. The focus of the scheme was on strengthening & augmentation the existing infrastructure and metering of existing feeders/distribution transformers to improve the quality and reliability of power supply in rural areas," the statement said.