The government will be able to provide electricity connections to all households by December as per the target under the Saubhagya scheme, Power Minister R K Singh said.
He said the government is considering advancing the deadline for achieving 24X7 power for all target by three months to December 31, 2018. The initial deadline under the Rs 16,320 crore Saubhagya scheme was March 31, 2019.
“We signed agreements with states in 2015 that we want 24×7 supply and all states are signatories to that. The deadline was March 31, 2019,” Singh said addressing a press conference on government’s achievement on electrifying all villages.
The minister said the government is trying to advance the deadline.
He said discoms can buy power and the Centre has given them enough funds to strengthen their distribution and transmission system but they were not doing it because of losses.
On Saubhagya scheme Singh said, “I have visited all states, talked to Chief Ministers, Power Ministers, Pradhan Sachiv and CMDs of various discoms and discussed in detail. I am sure that we will achieve this target”.
About Opposition’s claim that 94 per cent villages were electrified by them, the minister said that “if it was so easy then why did not they do it in 60 years. They could have done that and announced their achievement”.
Singh told reporters, “I saw a letter written at the time of roll out of Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana. Then Congress President had said in the letter that by 2009, we will electrify all the villages.