The government will be able to provide electricity connections to all households by December as per the target under the Saubhagya scheme, Power Minister R K Singh said today.
He also said that the government is considering preponing the deadline for achieving 24X7 Power for all target by three month to December 31, 2018. The initial deadline under the Rs 16,320 crore Saubhagya scheme was March 31, 2019.
"We signed agreements with the states in 2015 that we want 24x7 supply and the all the states are signatories to that. The deadline is March 31, 2019," Singh said addressing a press conference on government's achievement on electrifying all villages.
"We are trying to prepone (the deadline for 24X7 power) it because if you ask, is there any hurdle. I will say no because there is sufficient power in the grid." He said discoms can buy power and the Centre has given them enough funds to strengthen their distribution and transmission system but they were not doing it because of losses (financial stress).
On Saubhagya scheme Singh said, "I have visited all the states talked to the Chief Minister, Power Ministers, Pradhan Sachiv and CMDs of various discoms and discussed in detail. I am sure that we will achieve this target." However, he added: "We have one major challenge that is Uttar Pradesh. We are sure that we will achieve the target. Rest, in any state no CMD, Pradhan felt that this target cannot be met by December 31, 2018." At present, as many as 3.13 crore households across the country would be electrified under the Saubhagya scheme while 50.06 lakh families have already got power connection under the programme so far as per government web portal.
About the opposition claims that 94 per cent villages were electrified by them, the minister said that "if it was so easy then why did not they do it in 60 years. They could have done that and announced their achievement." Singh told reporters, "I saw a letter written at the time of roll out of Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana. Then Congress Presisent had said in the letter that by 2009, we will electrify all the villages. What happend? Did it happen?"
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)