• Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy informed that under the scheme a total 2.86 crore households have been electrified.
  • Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana – Saubhagya  was launched in 2017.
  • Achieving universal household electrification, by providing electricity connections to all un-electrified households in rural areas and all poor households in urban areas in the country.

Salient features of the scheme:

  • Providing last mile connectivity and electricity connections to all un-electrified households in rural areas.
  • Providing Solar Photo Voltaic (SPV) based standalone systems for un-electrified households located in remote and inaccessible villages where grid extension is not feasible or cost effective.
  • Providing last mile connectivity and electricity connections to all remaining economically poor un-electrified households in urban areas.
  • Non-poor urban households are excluded from this scheme.

Issues with rural electrification

  • Definition of an electrified village under rural electrification scheme (2005)
  • An electrified village is defined as one that has the following:
  • provision of basic infrastructure such as distribution transformers and lines in the inhabited locality,
  • provision of electricity in public places like schools, panchayat office, health centers, dispensaries, and community centers, and
  • at least 10% of the total number of households in the village are electrified.
  • Hence according to this definition, a village would be called electrified even if up to 90% of households in it do not have an electricity connection.

Inadequate infrastructure:

  • It also noted that the infrastructure being provided under the scheme is highly inadequate, unreliable and unsustainable.
  • The actual electrification requirement of villages must be assessed, and it should be ensured that the state discoms provide electricity to the remaining households in the village.

Supply of electricity

  • While the rural electrification scheme looks at creating infrastructure, the actual supply of electricity to households rests with the state discoms.
  • These discoms are already facing huge financial losses and hence are unable to supply electricity to the villages.
  • Discoms continue to supply subsidised power to agricultural and residential consumers, resulting in revenue losses.
  • Electricity to below poverty line (BPL) households
  • Under the scheme, the cost for providing free electricity connection per BPL household is Rs 3,000.
  • It has been observed that this cost per household may be inadequate.
  • Due to the low cost, the quantity and the quality of work has been getting compromised leading to poor implementation of the scheme.


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