- 11 Jul 2019
- 5 min read
The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (PM Saubhagya) lapsed on March 31, 2019, but its target of 100% electrification nationwide is yet to be achieved.
- The scheme was launched in September 2017 with a target to electrify all households by December 2018.
- This target was moved forward to March 31, 2019, and eventually the Centre declared that all ‘willing’ homes have been provided with electricity connections.
- Since the Saubhagya Scheme has no allocation in the latest Budget, these connections will be funded through the Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY).
- The Rajasthan government has informed that around 1.56 lakh households are un-electrified and are willing to take electric connections.
- Owing to regions hit by Left-wing extremism, even in Chhattisgarh number of villages are yet to be provided with electricity connections.
- The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to request the Centre to reopen the Saubhagya Scheme, in the state to give another chance to the poor to get free electricity connection in case they did not get one earlier.
- The families that refused to take power connections had apprehensions of getting inflated bills or were already using electricity illegally through ‘katias’.
Power Sector in India
- The Ministry of Power which started functioning independently in 1992 is primarily responsible for the development of electrical energy in the country.
- India ranks third globally in terms of electricity production.
- As per the Paris Accord on Climate Change, India made a pledge that by 2030, 40% of installed power generation capacity shall be based on clean sources, it was determined that 175 GW of renewable energy capacity will be installed by 2022.
- This includes 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from bio-power and 5 GW from small hydro power.
- India has 5th Global position for overall installed renewable energy capacity, 4th position for wind power and 5th position for solar power.
- As of October, 2018, a total of around 73.35 GW of renewable energy capacity has been installed in the country, which includes around 34.98 GW from Wind, 24.33 GW from solar, 4.5 GW from Small Hydro Power and 9.54 GW from Bio-power.
- Power sector has a 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) permit, which boosted FDI inflows in the sector.
- Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY): The rural electrification scheme provides for (a) separation of agriculture and non-agriculture feeders; (b) strengthening and augmentation of sub-transmission and distribution infrastructure in rural areas including metering at distribution transformers, feeders and consumers end.
- Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS): The scheme provides for (a) strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution networks in urban areas; (b) metering of distribution transformers/feeders/consumers in urban areas; and (c) IT enablement of distribution sector and strengthening of distribution network.
- Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY): The scheme has been launched for operational and financial turnaround of Discoms.
- ‘4 Es’ in the revised Tariff Policy: The 4Es include Electricity for all, Efficiency to ensure affordable tariffs, Environment for a sustainable future, Ease of doing business to attract investments and ensure financial viability.
- GARV (Grameen Vidyutikaran) App: To monitor transparency in implementation of the electrification schemes, Grameen Vidyut Abhiyantas (GVAs) have been appointed by the government to report progress through GARV app.
- According to the government data, with 100% electrification target being achieved, the government's focus is now to provide consistent electricity at affordable rates, power tariff reforms, last-mile connectivity and electricity connections to all households in rural and urban areas . Therefore, "One Nation, One Grid" initiative was announced in the budget to bring affordable power to all states.