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253 villages across India have been given access to electricity in a week’s time (from January 11th to 17th) under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana(DDUGJY). In keeping with the promises made in his speech on the 69th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the DDUGJY on 25th July 2015 in Patna. Out of the 253 villages that has been electrified successfully, 111 villages belong to Odisha. 81 villages in Assam, 40 in Jharkhand, 13 to Rajasthan, 4 in Bihar, 3 in Madhya Pradesh and 1 in Uttar Pradesh.
Such schemes are not new to India where majority of the population resides in rural areas that are cut off from electricity due to lack of investment and infrastructure. But the striking difference in the current scheme for electrification of rural India is the speed at which it has been implemented in the recent past.
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The plan that preceded the DDUGJY was the infamous Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana(RGGVY) that promised complete electrification of villages in India by 2010. The deadline was constantly pushed ahead at the whims of the Government and the scheme finally ended up focussing only on the development and extension of the centralised grid system for rural areas. This change resulted in dilution and subsequent failure of the of the plan. The entire definition of electrification was tailored to suit the projection of good progress by the government. The lack of any actual headway on ground led to the creation of the DDUGJY which aims and completing the work that RGGVY set out to do.
The DDUGJY that is currently in its implementation phase has the following four objectives:
- To provide electrification to all villages.
- Feeder separation to ensure sufficient power to farmers and regular supply to other consumers.
- Improvement of sub-transmission and distribution network to improve the quality and reliability of the supply.
- Metering to reduce the losses.
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A budget of Rs 76000 crores has been projected for the imminent projects under which the Government of India shall provide Rs 63000 crores. Every village in the country will be electrified by 1st May 2018 under the DDUGJY plan. All projects that were already sanctioned under RGGVY are being undertaken immediately.
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With its current tempo of action the DDUGJY seems to be on the right track while doing justice to its objectives. The development of rural India is of prime importance, and electricity is the first step towards creating a launch pad for growth. Electricity will not only replace long hours of manual labour but will also bring exposure to the remotest corners of the country.
The Logical Indian hopes that the DDUGJY continues its progress with the same robustness and achieves its end objectives. Rural India will become a completely different kind of asset to the country with the success of DDUGJY.