Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reviewed the progress of household electrification under the 'Saubhagya' scheme, focusing on last mile connectivity and distribution of power in urban and rural areas, a PMO statement said.
The prime minister had yesterday reviewed the progress in the key infrastructure sectors of power, renewable energy, petroleum and natural gas, coal and mining.The review meeting, which lasted for over two hours, was attended by top officials from infrastructure-related ministries, NITI Aayog and the Prime Minister's Office. Progress in household electrification under the 'Saubhagya' initiative was reviewed. The discussions focused on last mile connectivity and distribution in both urban and rural areas, the PMO statement said.
In September 2017, the PM had launched the 'Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana Saubhagya' to ensure electrification of all willing households in the country in rural as well as urban areas. Under the scheme, states and Union Territories are required to complete the works of household electrification by December 31, 2018. The beneficiaries for free electricity connections would be identified using Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 data.
However, un-electrified households not covered under SECC data would also be provided electricity connections under the scheme on payment of Rs 500 which will be recovered by discoms in 10 instalments through electricity bills. In course of the presentation made by NITI Aayog, it was noted that the installed power generation capacity in India has risen to 344 gigawatts. India's energy deficit, which stood at over 4 per cent in 2014, has shrunk to less than 1 per cent in 2018.
Significant capacity additions have been made in transmission lines, transformer capacity and inter-regional transmission. India now ranks 26th in the World Bank's "Ease of Getting Electricity" Index, up from 99th in 2014.Officials expressed confidence that India is on track to comfortably achieve the prime minister's target of 175 gigawatts renewable energy capacity by 2022.
Modi urged the officials to work towards ensuring that the benefits from increase in solar energy capacity reach the farmers through appropriate interventions such as solar pumps and user-friendly solar cooking solutions. In the petroleum and natural gas sector, it was noted that targets set under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana will be comfortably achieved in the current financial year. In the coal sector, discussions focused on further augmentation of production capacity, the statement said.