Govt racing against time to meet deadline for electrification of 1.88 lakh households

Revised DPR awaits approval of MoP’s Monitoring Committee

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, July 7: State Government is racing against time to meet the deadline of December 31, 2018 for electrification of left over 1.88 lakh households in Jammu and Kashmir as procedural formalities are yet to be completed and revised Detailed Project Report is still awaiting approval of the Monitoring Committee of Union Ministry of Power.
As huge number of households could not be covered under earlier power sector schemes and remained un-electrified, the Union Government on September 25, 2017 launched a new scheme Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana—“Saubhagya” to ensure electrification of all left out un-electrified households in both rural and urban areas.
Accordingly, Union Ministry of Power issued directions to all the States to furnish data of un-electrified households along with the Detailed Project Report so that required funds could be placed at their disposal for electrification. All the States were explicitly told to complete the works of household electrification by December 31, 2018.
As there was no specific data about un-electrified households with the State Government, tentative figure of around 44,000 was conveyed to Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) Limited, which was appointed as nodal agency for operationalization of the scheme throughout the country, official sources told EXCELSIOR.
In the meanwhile, the State Government found that number of un-electrified households might be more and accordingly the necessity of carrying out detailed exercise was felt. For this, the Government vide Order No.183-GAD dated January 30, 2018 constituted District Level Committees headed by concerned District Development Commissioner and comprising of Assistant Commissioner Development concerned, Superintending Engineer concerned of the Power Development Department, Executive Engineer concerned of PDD and Executive Officer of the concerned Municipality.
During comprehensive exercise the District Level Committees worked out the number of un-electrified households at around 1.88 lakh and accordingly the Detailed Project Report was revised by the Power Development Department and furnished to the Rural Electrification Corporation. However, the Monitoring Committee of the Union Ministry of Power raised certain objections after going through the revised DPR, sources said.
Though replies to the objections have been furnished to the Monitoring Committee yet the same have not come up for deliberations so far, they further said, adding it would be only after clearance of revised DPR that Union Ministry of Power will release required funds to the State for last mile connectivity of all the remaining un-electrified households in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Moreover, the updated DPR is yet to be cleared by the State Level Committee headed by Chief Secretary”, sources further said while disclosing that there are certain other procedural formalities which are required to be completed and intimated to the Rural Electrification Corporation as well as Monitoring Committee of the Union Ministry of Power.
“All this clearly indicates that Government is racing against the time to meet the deadline of electrification of 1.88 lakh households by December 31, 2018 as only six months have been left for completion of formalities and work on the ground”, they said.
They disclosed that electrification work will be executed by the Power Development Department under the close supervision of Rural Electrification Corporation and Project Management Agency, which has recently been engaged by the State Government.
As per the guidelines of Saubhagya Scheme, the Power Development Department will organize camps in villages/cluster of villages to facilitate on-the-spot filling up of application forms and release of electricity connections to the households.
The expected outcome of the scheme is environmental upgradation by substitution of kerosene for lighting purposes; improvement of education services; better health services; enhanced connectivity through radio, television, mobiles, etc and increased economic activities and jobs.