Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched the ‘Saubhagya’ scheme under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana’ on the occasion of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s birth centenary. Modi promised complete electrification in the country, saying an amount of Rs 16,000 crore has been allocated to bring about a monumental change in the lives of the poor. He started by saying no other government has considered the poor as the BJP has.
The Prime Minister regretted that even following 70 years of independence, four crores out of 25 crore families did not have access to power. The major objective of the ambitious project is to provide last-mile electrification, including in the remotest pockets of the country.
Under the Saubhagya scheme, the government proposes to give power to all families by December 2018, ahead of an earlier target of March 2019. All villages would be electrified by December this year ahead of a scheduled deadline of 1 May 2018. “This is a reflection of working style and willpower,” Modi said, adding that power connection will be provided free of cost to all poor families under the scheme.
The Prime Minister additionally called upon ONGC to utilize its Rs. 100 crore startup funds to develop easy to use electric cooking appliances saying it would help in diminishing the fuel utilization.
PM Modi in his speech says that on this auspicious day, a scheme which will ensure the betterment of women is being launched. PM says welfare of poor is linked to the identity of this government. He says from Jan Dhan Yojana to Start Up India, to Ujwala to Udaan, everything is for poor of the people.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalls his childhood about how he also used to study without electricity in the evening. The lantern lit by castor oil was used by him to continue his study. Modi explains how lack of electricity negatively affects women. They can’t go out without electricity. Saubhagya Yojana will ensure that all houses in this scheme will be electrified.
Modi says, diminishing carbon impression is vital and added that, if we can cut import of oil by even 10% by 2022, it will greatly help the economy of the society. The amount can be utilized to promote social plans across the nation. Prime Minister emphasizes that this plan can be a major advance forward for women empowerment.
The portal also indicated that out of the 17.92 crore households in rural areas, 13.87 crore families have electricity connections. As many as 4.05 crore families are yet to get the electricity connections.
The Centre will provide largely funds for the scheme to all States/UTs. The beneficiaries for free electricity connections would be identified using Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 data. However, it said that un-electrified households not covered under the SECC data would also be provided electricity connections under the scheme on payment of Rs 500 which shall be recovered by DISCOMs in 10 installments through electricity bill.
‘We have taken multi-dimensional steps which have helped us in achieving electricity surplus,’ said Modi. The Saubhagya scheme also has solar power packs of 200-300 W with a battery bank for unelectrified households located in remote and inaccessible areas, comprising of Five LED lights, One DC fan, One DC power plug.
Power Minister R K Singh on Monday also talked about the pre-paid model to be adopted for electricity to all households as per government plans. Singh stressed on the need for developing skills for the power sector and said that there is a need for skill development for grid and feeder maintenance. After connecting each house with electricity, the government’s next target would be to end load shedding and provide 24×7 power, said RK Singh.
The Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC) will remain the nodal agency for the operation of the Saubhagya scheme throughout the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, concluded his speech by saying how equity, sustainability, and efficiency are important markers for New India and a clean energy-saving future. The aspirations of the poor determine the working of our government,” the Prime Minister added.