Power hope trips for 60k households in Barmer as central schemes to stop

More than 60,000 households in Barmer district are unlikely to get electrified after connections under the two central schemes – Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) and Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) – have been stopped after June 7.

The two schemes were launched by the Narendra Modi government with an aim to electrify each Indian household by March 2019.

“There are no directions to release electricity connections under these two schemes after June 7,” said Megharam Prajapat, executive engineer in charge of DDUGJY and Saubhagya schemes in Barmer. “Till further orders, the department will not release any new connections,” he added.

Prajapat said there are approximately 62,000 households in the district which are without electricity.

Jodhpur discom (power distribution company) superintendent engineer Mangilal Jat said the company has achieved DDUGJY target. “The government has not extended the date for Saubhagya scheme. We are waiting for the new directions till that we cannot comment on any situation,” he added.

The Modi government announced DDUGJY in its previous term soon after it came to power in 2014. With the announcement, the deadline for complete rural electrification was revised to May 2018, instead of March 2022 set by the UPA government.

The deadline for complete household electrification was March 2019.

Barmer got Rs 469 crore under the scheme, highest in Rajasthan. When the DDUGJY was rolled out, there were approximately 300,000 households without electricity.

In September 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Saubhagya, a Rs 16,320-crore scheme to provide electricity to all rural households across the country by December 2018.

Interestingly, until August 2018, with a budget of Rs 469 crore under DDUGJY, Barmer power department officials and public representatives claimed of total rural electrification by 2018. But after the launch of Saubhagya scheme, the officials backtracked on the claim saying that the allotted budget to provide electricity connection to rural households under DDUGJY is insufficient.

In September 2018, when Saubhagya scheme was introduced, about 193,000 households in the district were without electricity. Government directed the power department to released 114,000 connections with the available budget under DDUGJY and gave sanction under Saubhagya for the remaining.

So far, 114,000 connections under the DDUGJY and 17,000 under Saubhagya have been released in Barmer. This adds to 131,000 connections, leaving a shortfall of 62,000 connections.

First Published:
Jun 26, 2019 13:12 IST

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