In an effort to bring transparency in the ongoing household electrification push, the government has launched the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, ‘Saubhagya’ web portal www.saubhagya.gov.in that will monitor the progress of the programme.
The portal would disseminate information on household electrification status in state, district, and village. It will show household progress on live basis, state-wise target vs achievement, monthly electrification progress, among others, the Ministry of Power has said in a statement.
“Through this online platform every state would feed in the current status of progress of electrification works, hence enabling the creation of a system of accountability for the state utility / DISCOM and help in increasing their viability,” said R K Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy at the launch. “Further, seven states including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Mizoram, Nagaland, Chhattisgarh and Assam have given their requirements to the power ministry for funds under the Saubhagya sch-eme, which would be released soon for aiding the respective electrification works.”
The Saubhagya web portal has a feature on village electrification camps and in line with that, DISCOMs will organise camps in villages / cluster of villages for facilitating on-the-spot filling up of application forms and to complete requisite documentation to expedite release of electricity connections to households, Singh informed. Further, all states have been asked to announce the schedules of the village camps to be held and hence create awareness among the people about the one-stop facility for getting electricity connections.
DISCOMs / state power department will also adopt the innovative mechanism through dedicated web portal / mobile app for collection / consolidation of data in electronic form including collection of application form for obtaining electricity connections. The details of consumers viz, name and mobile number / bank account / driving license / voter ID etc, as available, would be collected by the DISCOMs, the power ministry also said.
Saubhagya scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 25 with an outlay of Rs 16,320 crore, including budgetary support of Rs 12,320 crore. Under the scheme, all willing households in rural areas and poor families in urban areas are given free electricity connections. There are around four crore un-electrified households in the country and they are targeted for providing electricity connections by December 2018.
Till recently, the focus of electrification has been on village electrification through creation of village electricity infrastructure for all households and providing free electricity connections to poor household families in rural areas. Now, Saubhagya has come into existence for providing free electricity connections to all households (both APL and poor families) in rural areas and poor families in urban areas, the ministry added.
“Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC) is the nodal agency for the operationalisation of the scheme throughout the country. The Union Ministry of Power with the support of the states is taking all concerted efforts to fulfill the dream of Hon’ble Prime Minister of seeing electrified, bright and vibrant India with all households having access to electricity connections,” the minister also informed.