Access to electricity is a basic requirement for a quality life. Providing electricity to every corner of India will ensure that the basic amenities are available to every citizen, and that will be a true sign of progress. This access means that other crude methods of generating light are done away with, hence reducing the pollution. Further, this access ensures that there is light post-sunset and hence ensures the safety and longer duration for economic activities.
The objective of the Saubhagya scheme is to provide energy access to all by last mile connectivity and electricity connection to all those households that are still unelectrified across all sectors in order to achieve universal household electrification in the country. With these objectives in mind, the Government of India has introduced the PM Shaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana – ‘Saubhagya’ scheme.
The eligibility for the Saubhagya scheme would be identified using the data of the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011. Even the households that are not a part of the SECC data and are unelectrified will be provided electricity under the scheme on payment of Rs.500, which will be recovered by the DISCOMs in electricity bill by way of instalments.
The implementation will be fast-paced and will make use of technology. For the household surveys, a mobile app will be used, and the application of the beneficiary along with the documents and photographs will be registered on the spot.
The Public Institutions/ Gram panchayat will be authorised to collect the application forms, documentation, distribute bills and collect funds in consultation with the Panchayat Raj institutions and Urban Local Bodies.
The Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC) will be the nodal agency for the operationalisation of the scheme throughout the country.
The expected outcome of the Saubhagya scheme are as follows:
The electricity connection to households will be implemented by drawing a service cable from the nearest electricity pole to a household premise, installation of an energy meter, wiring for a single point with an LED bulb, and a charging point for mobile. In case of unavailability of the electricity pole, alternate arrangements are also included in the scheme.
The total cost of the project is estimated at Rs.16,320 crore, while the Gross Budgetary Support(GBS) is Rs.12,320 crore. The outlay for rural households is Rs. 14,025 crore, while the GBS is Rs.10,587.50 crore. For urban households, the outlay is Rs.2,295 crore, while GBS is at Rs.1732.50 crore. The major funding will be done by the Central Government.