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Power Ministry announces Rs 100cr award for states for early household electrification

Power Ministry announces Rs 100cr award for states for early household electrification

(Eds: Adds more details ) New Delhi, Oct 15 (PTI) The Power Ministry Monday announced Rs 100 crore award for states that would complete the household electrification early under the Saubhagaya scheme. Apart from discoms, the employees would also collectively get Rs 50 lakh award for completing the task of electrifying household under the Rs 16,320 crore Saubhagaya scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year in September. "We have decided to award states for early completion of household electrification work under Saubhagaya scheme," Power Minister R K Singh said after a review meeting of the scheme with state representatives here. The minister informed that there are three categories of states to compete under the scheme which include special category states (northeast and other hilly states). Besides, the states would be categorised in two other broad categories - one pool of states would have those where number of households to be electrified are less than 5 lakh. Another pool of states would cover states that have more than 5 lakh households to be electrified. Singh said that out of the Rs 50 lakh award for employees of a discom, Rs 20 lakh can be distributed among employees of its division for commendable work. He also told that some of the states have already achieved almost 99 per cent of household electrification work and those eight states would be kept out of this Award scheme. These states are Gujarat, Punjab, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh. Singh who is also New & Renewable Energy Minister said that government is looking into the issue of allowing more time for implementing solar energy projects linked with manufacturing component. Recently Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) postponed the 10 GW Solar Energy tender till November 12 for the third time. The last date for submission of bid was October 12. The minister explained that bidders are of the view that the existing timeline to implement solar capacities would force them to import equipment whereas the tender aimed to promote make in India. The power ministry said with the support of state power departments and discoms more than 1.65 crore households have already been connected since the launch of scheme and all the states have shown confidence in achievement of the target much before the timelines. The government launched Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) in September 2017 to achieve the goal of universal household electrification in the country by March 31, 2019. The scheme envisages to provide last mile connectivity and electricity connections to all remaining households in rural as well as urban areas. PTI KKS MRMR