The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (SAUBHAGYA) program to electrify all willing households in India using solar power was launched in Jammu & Kashmir on December 11, 2017.
The program was launched by Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Nirmal Singh, who said electric connections would be given to poor people, identified by the socio economic and caste census of 2011 and other sections, for ₹500 (~$7.74) payable in 10 bill installments, per a PTI report.
Under the SAUBHAGYA program guidelines, on-the-spot registration of applications for electricity connections will be done. “It is one of the many initiatives of the prime minister to ensure that the poor of the country are empowered,” said Nirmal during the program launch.
Nirmal directed program implementation officers to work together to ensure that beneficiaries are identified in a transparent manner.
Mercom previously reported on the launch of the SAUBHAGYA program in Manipur on November 28, 2017.
The SAUBHAGYA program aims to achieve universal household electrification in all parts of India at a total cost of ₹163.2 (~$2.52 billion), including Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) of ₹123.2 billion (~$1.9 billion) from the Government of India. To ensure the success of the program, the SAUBHAGYA web portal was launched to monitor the progress of household electrification.
The SAUBHAGYA program is being launched at an opportune moment for Jammu & Kashmir. At a recently concluded conference of the power ministers from 17 states and one union territory in New Delhi, it was brought to the Minister for Power’s attention that 102 villages in Jammu & Kashmir lack power. At the culmination of that conference, the Minister for Power for the central government promised to grant funds to develop renewable energy projects and transmission infrastructure in the state.
Image credit: By Umar Jamshaid 03457611024 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.