PM Modi announces Saubhagya electrification scheme for India

PM Modi pushes electricity for all with Rs 16,000 cr Saubhagya schemes

"Modi, who also dedicated a new ONGC building (the Deendayal Urja Bhawan and Booster Compressor Facility in Bassein Gas Field), said while the nation was speedily moving towards "one nation, one grid, one price" while Saubhagya will help provide electricity to all the homes in the country and its launch is reflection of steps being taken towards an energy revolution".

"Power for all is a very ambitious plan and the prime minister knows the political gains it can bring if he can pull it off", said Sandeep Shastri, a political analyst and a pro vice chancellor at Jain University in Bengaluru.

Under the new scheme, consumers belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families will avail power free of charge.

Saubhagya scheme will cover all rural families after electrification of all villages by the end of December 2017.

The project, which would be mostly funded by the Federal Government and run by the state-run Rural Electrification Corp Ltd, was aimed at reducing the use of kerosene, the government said.

The Saubhagya scheme also has solar power packs of 200-300 W with battery bank for unelectrified households located in remote and inaccessible areas, comprising of Five LED lights, One DC fan, One DC power plug.

The total budget of the scheme is Rs 16,320 Cr. Out of this, the outlay for rural households is Rs 14,025 crore while the GBS is Rs 10,587.50 crore.

Beneficiaries shall be identified and their applications for electricity connections along with the applicants' photographs and identity proofs shall be registered on the spot, the statement said.

The Saubhagya scheme will make use of clean energy.

The Prime Minister had in 2015 said that the government has set a 1,000-day target to electrify over 18,000 villages that don't have access to electricity at all. He also said that all villages would be electrified by December this year, beating the deadline of May 1, 2018.

In rural areas, the Panchayat and other public institutions will be authorized to collect forms and other documentations along with bills. As many as 4.05 crore families are yet to be provided electricity connections.

He said that the life of the poor will only improve when they get electricity.

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