BHUBANESWAR: Even after a decade of launching of the rural electrification programme under Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY), 42.64 lakh households of the State are still out of the reach of electricity.
Under the 12th Plan period, the Centre had sanctioned projects worth `3,550.47 crore for electrification of 3,144 villages, 41,022 partially electrified villages and supply of free electricity connection to over 16.58 lakh BPL households.
As per the status report of the State, 1,278 villages have been electrified in the last four years while intensive electrification has been completed in 847 partially electrified villages. Only two per cent of the partially electrified villages have been covered under the programme.
The much-touted free electricity connection plan to BPL families under this flagship programme has tuned out to be a damp squib with only one per cent of the intended BPL families getting the benefit.
The rural electrification programme was launched in 2005 to provide access to electricity to villages having population of 100 or more.
A fully Centrally-funded scheme, 90 per cent of the assistance was capital subsidy while the remaining 10 per cent was a loan to States.
However, the NDA Government changed the funding pattern. The Centre provided a grant of 60 per cent and 30 per cent of the financial assistance was a loan with a rider. Fifty per cent of the loan will be a grant if the State achieved the set milestones.
The balance 10 per cent is the contribution of the distribution company concerned.
Launching the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojna (DDUGJY), the new avatar of RGGVY, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set May 1, 2018 as deadline for completing the rural electrification programme.
Achievement during 11th Plan period was satisfactory with electrification of 12,204 unelectrified villages and 22,660 partially electrified villages.
Sources in the Energy Department attributed the slow progress to low budgetary support to the programme by the Centre and lack of coordination between the Central executing agencies, distribution companies and district administrations.
The Centre has so far released `630 crore, which is 18 per cent of the sanctioned amount, to the agencies executing the programme.