Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana

Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana: As we grow with the time, there occurs the life shaking inventions that would transform the lives of humanity. Electricity is one such invention that has very much become a necessity in today’s day and age. If we look at the list of the nations having highest consumption of the power, India is on the 3rd spot next after the U.S and China. But in terms of the electricity access deficit, India accounts for nearly 1/3rd of total world’s deficit. If we take a tour to the tribal and remote villages of the states such as Odisha, Jarkhand, we can witness how dire the realities of lives without electricity.

In the past there have been many schemes that were initiated by the government of India to electrify the unelectrified households and villages having no access to a single power grid. Laws framed in view of this make the central and state governments together responsible for providing the electricity access to every household in the country.

Saubhagya Yojana -  Quick glance
Objective To Electrify the unelectrified households
Budgeted outlay Rs 16,320 crore
Free to whom? Free to those who are BPL
Cost Rs 500 in 10 installments for other than BPL households
Solar power packs will be given in the areas where power grids can not reach
Enrollments Can be done at the camps organized by DISCOMs
Estimated beneficiaries 30 million households
Target date December 31, 2018

With a view to electrify the unelectrified households by the end of 2018 across the nation both in rural and urban localities, Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi has launched a scheme on 25th September called “Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana – Saubhagya”. Most of the projects and initiatives that were started till today were focusing on electrifying the villages while this one focuses on urban and semi urban areas too. Though the official implementation has not yet been started, preliminary things have been declared by the government, which we discuss below.

Objective of Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana:

The objective of this scheme is to provide electricity access to every household by last mile connectivity and electricity connections to all the remaining un-electrified households in rural as well as urban areas with a view to achieve universal household electrification in the country. This includes:

  1. Drawing service cable from the nearest electricity pole to the household
  2. Release of electricity connection through that cable
  3. Installation of electricity meter
  4. Wiring for a single LED bulb and a plug point
  5. Installation of electricity pole along with necessary accessories
  6. It is estimated that about 30 million households will be electrified under this schematic approach
  7. As the objective suggests, this scheme focuses on bringing the electricity all along till the last mile to the household with necessary infrastructure required.

Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana

Is it for free of cost?

  1. Yes - This is done at free of cost to the poor households which can be essentially understood as those who are below poverty line. These would be identified using Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 data.
  2. No – All the unelectrified households who are not covered in point No.1 will get electrified under this scheme on payment of Rs 500 in 10 installments. These installments will be recovered by the distribution companies by adding it to the monthly electricity bill.

One should remember that this scheme is only intended to electrify the unelectrified households/families but not to supply the electricity for consumption at free of cost.

Solar Power packs:

Considering the geographical limitations, it is very difficult for the electricity grid to reach certain areas such as remote villages located in the hills in certain states. To illuminate the lives of these families, a solar power pack is provided to each household. These power packs will be of 200 to 300 watts and battery backing up 5 LED lights, 1 DC fan and 1 DC power plug along with the provision of repair and maintenance for 5 years.

Estimated outlay for the scheme:

The total outlay of the project is Rs. 16,320 crore. Though this appears to be a huge figure, it’s really difficult to achieve the objectives at such a budget as the households to be electrified not having officially identified are also amount to a huge number. And the funds will be sanctioned to the state governments based on the detailed project reports submitted by them.

Enrollment for the scheme:

The electrification works will be undertaken by respective distribution companies (DISCOMs)/power departments. And to implement the project at the earliest possible, camps would be organized in the villages/mandals for identification of beneficiaries with a mobile App or a web portal. Application for electricity connections shall also be registered online along with required documentation including applicant’s photograph, Aadhar, mobile verification, bank account number being done at the camps.

Expected outcomes:

  1. Access to the electricity will bring tremendous betterment in the quality of lives
  2. Reduce the indoor pollution caused by consumption of kerosene for daily lighting needs
  3. Electricity connects the people with the world by way of giving accessibility to Television, internet and electric equipment for daily household chores from cooking to irrigation
  4. Access to better health care and education services.
  5. A sense of personal safety to the rural women especially post sunset in the midst of dark nights
  6. And so many other indirect and direct improvements where electricity acts a bridge.

Rural  Electrification Corporation Limited (REC) will act as the nodal agency for the operationalisation of the scheme throughout the nation.

Note to all readers:

Though the government would take up the publicity campaigns through all the major media means, We at urge you to create awareness about this scheme among those section of the society having not been electrified by whatever means you have with yourself. After all, who knows; that may illuminate a household at least.