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Government on target: All villages to get electricity by month-end
The government is set to meet its ambitious target of providing electricity to all villages by the end of April.
Of the 18,452 villages targeted to be electrified in 1,000 days from August 15, 2015, 58 are left and the government expects to complete the task before April 30. Another 1,100 villages that were later identified as lacking electricity will also be covered this month, Union power secretary Ajay Bhalla told ET.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced on Independence Day last year that the government would achieve this target by May 1, 2018.
Asenior executive with Rural Electrification Corp (REC), the nodal agency for implementation of the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojna (DDUGJY), said the Centre handheld the states at all levels, beginning with formulation of the standard bidding documents (SBDs) to award contracts, which helped in saving six to eight months’ time.
“We framed the bid documents and allowed and guided the states on portions that can be changed to suit each state,” he said. “Besides, rigorous monitoring was done on the Garv portal. The tendering happened in the shortest possible time. Even the SBDs could be customised easily, as we had told states which clause merits change.”
REC employed gram vidyut abhiyantas (GVAs) to monitor on-ground progress of village electrification. The REC official said the implementation schedule was squeezed to 12 months and the process was divided in 12 milestones with defined timelines.
“We streamlined the sanctions, disbursements, approvals and clearances. Even the sample designs and drawings of the village and network were made available to the states and contractors, saving at least five-six months,” the executive said.
In difficult terrains in states like Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, REC conducted surveys with the help of GVAs and local people before awarding contracts. “This helped the contractors with information about roads, access,” he said.
In some snow-bound areas like Leh and Kargil, equipment was airlifted, and for places where there was no access, it was routed through bordering areas like Nepal.
In the villages left to be electrified, necessary material has reached the sites and the work will commence soon, the executive said.