Odisha wants Centre to modify Saubhagya scheme

Published On: 05, Dec 2017 | Source: business-standard.com

Voicing displeasure over the lopsided provisions in the recently announced Saubhagyra scheme by the Centre, the state government has called for restructuring the programme.

would flag the demand to make the scheme easier for states to execute at the upcoming Power Ministers conference scheduled on December 7 in New Delhi.

"The has provisions for electrification of rural households but is mute on the component of system improvement. If states implement this component on their own, it would mean a sizeable burden on their coffers. So, we will appeal to the Union power ministry to recast the scheme with some inbuilt provisions for system improvement”, said Hemant Sharma, secretary (energy) with the government.

He said unlike the Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGY), the lacks provision for creation and strengthening of infrastructure.

Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana or Saubhagya is a new scheme aimed at electrification of all willing households in the country in rural as well as urban areas. The objective is to provide energy access to all of last mile connectivity and connections to all remaining un-electrified households in rural as well as urban areas to achieve universal household electrification in the country. 

In Odisha, an estimated 1.6 million households are to be covered under the

The connection to households include release of connections by drawing a service cable from the nearest pole to the household premise, installation of energy meter, wiring for a single light point with LED bulb and a mobile charging point. In case the pole is not available nearby from household for drawing service cable, the erection of additional pole along with conductor and associated accessories shall also be covered under the scheme. 

While poor households would be provided free connections, other households would be offered connections under the scheme on payment of Rs 500 which is to be recovered by the distribution companies (discoms) or power departments in 10 installments along with bills.

The scheme has no provision to provide free power to any category of consumers. The cost of consumption is to be paid by the consumers as per prevailing tariff of the discom or the power department.

Despite the presence of schemes like DDUGY and Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS), numerous households are not yet connected mainly on account of their economic condition as they are not capable of paying the initial connection charges. The has an outlay of Rs 16,320 crore over and above the investment being made under Saubhagya.