The definition of village electrification has been made stricter to ensure availability of sufficient electricity infrastructure in each village before declaring it as electrified. In accordance with the Census 2001, about 1.2 lakh villages were un-electrified in the country.
Keeping in view the slow pace of rural electrification by the States, the Government of IndiaRajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) as one of its flagship programme in March 2005 with an objective to electrify over one lakh un-electrified villages and to provide free electricity connections to 2.34 Crore rural BPL households. The infrastructure being provided under the scheme is sufficient to provide electricity connections to all households. The APL families are being encouraged to take electricity connections from the distribution utility after fulfilling standard terms and conditions of the utility for the purpose. launched
The scheme provides 90% capital subsidy for the projects and covers following activities: Rural Electricity Distribution Backbone (REDB); Creation of Village Electrification Infrastructure (VEI); Decentralized Distributed Generation (DDG) and supply and Rural Household Electrification of Below Poverty Line Households.
Under the scheme, Decentralized Distributed Generation (DDG) projects based on new & renewable sources can also be taken up by States, wherever such solution is found more cost effective. The detailed guidelines for setting up DDG projects under RGGVY have been issued.
RGGVY continued in XIth Plan
During the X Plan, 235 projects for 234 districts were sanctioned at an estimated cost of Rs.9732 Crore to electrify 68,763 villages and to provide free electricity connections to 83.1 lakh BPL households. 38,525 villages were electrified by the end of X Plan.
The continuation of RGGVY in the XI Plan was sanctioned by the Government on 3rd January 2008 with a provision of Rs.28,000 Crore capital subsidy. The states having large number of un-electrified villages and households (Assam. Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal) have been given more emphasis under the scheme. Other areas of focus are special category states of north-east, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand, districts having international boundaries and districts affected by naxal activities. Habitations above 100 population are being covered under the scheme.
During XI Plan, 327 projects costing Rs.16,268 Crore have been sanctioned for electrification of 49,383 villages and for providing 162 lakh electricity connections BPL households.
So far, Ministry of Power has sanctioned 562 villages for 534 districts to electrify 118,146 villages and to provide free electricity connections to 2.45 Crore BPL rural households. As on 15th July 2009, 63,040 villages have been electrified and 63.6 lakh free electricity connections have been released to BPL households. It is targeted to complete all the sanctioned projects before March 2012.
Rural Electrification Corporation is the nodal agency for implementation of the scheme. Services of power sector CPSUs namely Powergrid, NTPC, NHPC and DVC have been made available to the State Power Utilities for fast implementation of the projects.
For effective and quality implementation of the projects; the Ministry has adopted turnkey mode of implementation, three-tier quality monitoring mechanism and mile stone based project monitoring. The states have been asked to provide minimum 6 to 8 hours of electricity to the villages electrified under the scheme. It has also been made mandatory to establish franchisees in the RGGVY electrified villages for effective distribution management. The franchising of distribution management is creating a good employment opportunity to the rural youth. So far, franchisees have been established in 99,643 villages.
The Ministry has asked the States to constitute State Level Coordination Committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary and hold its regular meetings to resolve inter-departmental issues, which badly affect speedy implementation. The Ministry has also asked the States to constitute District Level Committees with members from all the stake holders including members of Parliament & Legislative Assembly to resolve the local issues and to review the progress of the projects. It has been experienced that the progress was better in those States, where such Committees are active and holding their meetings regularly.
Under the scheme, the Ministry has also undertaken training of C & D employees of the State Power Utilities and franchisees. It is targeted to impart training to 75,000 employees and 40,000 franchisees during the XI Plan. During 2009-10, 2500 employees and 5000 franchisees are planned to be trained.
Under RGGVY, States were asked to notify their Rural Electrification Plans as a commitment for supplying electricity for minimum period of 6 to 8 hours, making arrangement of sufficient power for energizing the lines and suitable transmission and sub-transmission infrastructure to supply power to the distribution infrastructure created under the scheme. 10 states namely Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, J&K, Karnataka, Kerala, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand are yet to make such commitments by way of notifying their RE Plans.