Assam has become the latest state to become a participant of the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna (SAUBHAGYA) program, which aims to provide last-mile connectivity to all willing households in India by 2018.
The program was launched by the state’s Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, reported news agency Press Trust of India.
Under the program, households in inaccessible areas would be provided solar power packs (and battery banks) along with LED lights, fans, and power plugs with five years of free maintenance support, the chief minister said during the inauguration.
The SAUBHAGYA rural electrification program was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017 will the goal of providing electricity connections to all households, including the most remote villages, by the end of this year.
The national SAUBHAGYA program was launched at a total cost of ₹163.20 billion ($2.54 billion), including Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) of ₹123.20 billion ($1.92 billion) from the central government. To ensure the success of the program, the SAUBHAGYA web portal was launched late last year to monitor the progress of household electrification.
As of December 2017, around 2,217 villages had not yet seen the lights turn on in their homes, and the central government plans to electrify those remaining villages by May 2018.
The Rural Electrification Program (REC) is the implementing agency of the SAUBHAGYA program.
Altogether 1.9 million rural households would be covered under this scheme, Sonowal said, adding that beneficiaries would be divided into three categories.
Assam has become the fourth state after Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, and Jammu and Kashmir to join the program. Through the SAUBHAGYA rural electrification program, around 45 lakh families in the state will be provided with access to electricity.
Image credit: saubhagya.gov.in
Ankita is an editor at MercomIndia.com where she writes and edits clean energy news stories and features. With years of experience in the news business, Ankita has a nose for news and an eye for detail. Prior to Mercom, Ankita was associated with The Times of India as a copy editor for the organization’s digital news desk. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Delhi University and a Postgraduate Diploma in journalism. More articles from Ankita Rajeshwari.