The implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya scheme), which was rolled out in September 2017 to provide electricity to four crore households in the country till December 2018, has been slow, data available on the Saubhagya portal shows.
At present, the Ministry of Power is daily connecting 30,000 households with electricity, but to achieve the target till the end of this year, the ministry will have to connect 133,000 households with electricity. Under the scheme, free electricity connections to all remaining un-electrified economically poor households in rural and urban areas will be given. Families who are not economically backward will be charged Rs 500 per household in 10 equal instalments with the bills. “Connection” means the service cable from the power pillar, electricity meter, an LED bulb and a mobile charger point at every home.According to data available on the Saubhagya portal, in Uttar Pradesh, 55% electrification work has been completed. In Jharkhand 47%, Assam 55%, Odisha 63%, Bihar 73%, Rajasthan 79%, Arunachal Pradesh 65%, and in Tripura 72% electrification work have been completed. However, the electrification work is running behind schedule and complaints of providing only wire connections with no electricity have been received. At present, the ministry is connecting 8.76 lakh households every month with electricity.
Till last year December, the ministry had been connecting only 2 lakh households every month. A senior power ministry official told The Sunday Guardian: “We have digitised all the processes related to electrification work and we are also keeping tabs on the progress of work under the scheme. Earlier, the power connection process was a little slow, but from February this year, we are connecting 7-9 lakh households every month with electricity.” “The power minister has also directed the states to increase the speed of electricity connection works. The ministry has also asked for regular update of data where electrification work has been done. We are sure that the target taken under the scheme would be achieved. The government is committed to providing electricity to every household in the country and families located in remote and inaccessible areas would be provided with solar photovoltaic-based standalone systems with,” the official added.