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India could be 100% electrified by next month: Power minister

PW Bureau

A total of 15 states in the country now have 100% household electrification and the number is expected to grow soon as more states are on the verge of completing electrification New Delhi: On a day when the list of states that have achieved 100 percent electrification saw eight new entries, the Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and Renewable Energy said that at the current pace, the entire country will be electrified by year-end.

Total of 15 states electrified so far

“Eight States have achieved 100 percent saturation in household electrification under Saubhagya, namely Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Bihar, J&K, Mizoram, Sikkim, Telangana and West Bengal. Thus a total of 15 states in the country now have 100 percent household electrification,” Singh said while speaking to the media after the ‘Review, Planning & Monitoring (RPM) Meeting with States and State Power Utilities’ on November 29.

100% electrification by year-end

“Many more states like Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh etc. are left with small number of un-electrified households and are expected to achieve saturation any time,” he said, adding that at the present pace of electrification, nation is expected to achieve 100 percent saturation in the country by December 31, 2018. The minister further said, “Achievement of 100 percent household electrification in the country would be a major milestone in the direction to achieve 24x7 power for all. The government is committed to ensuring 24x7 access to electricity for all by March 31, 2019.” In order to ensure that no un-electrified household is left in the states which have already achieved 100 percent household electrification, states have been requested to take up a campaign to publicise the achievement, so that anyone left out for any reason may avail electricity connection under Saubhagya.

The background

Saubhagya — ‘Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana’ — was launched in September 2017 with the objective to provide access to electricity to all the remaining households in the country. The minister informed that as many as 2.1 crore connections have been released under Saubhagya so far. For creating a healthy competition amongst various DISCOMs/power departments of states, an award scheme has been instituted with awards of more than Rs 300 crores to be won by states/discoms. The first DISCOM/power department to complete 100 percent household electrification will be felicitated with a cash award of Rs 50 lakh for the employees and Rs 100 crore grant to be spent for distribution infrastructure. For the purpose of award, states have been divided into three categories and an award would be given in each of these categories. The states completing 100 percent household electrification by December 31, 2018 will also receive an additional grant of 15 percent of the project cost (5 percent for special category states) sanctioned under Saubhagya.