(GIST OF YOJANA) Universal Village Electrification in 1000 Days : The Journey [JULY-2018]

(GIST OF YOJANA) Universal Village Electrification in 1000
Days : The Journey


Universal Village Electrification in 1000 Days : The Journey

Electricity is one of the basic necessities for all of us now. Imagine a
scenario living in 21“century without electricity. Ensuring universal
electricity access has been a cherished goal of the Government and lots of
efforts have been made in this regard. The Prime Minister in his address to the
nation from the ram pants of Red Fort on the occasion of Independence Day on
15th August 2015 announced that the remaining 18,500 odd un-electrified villages
in the country would be electrified within the next 1,000 days. Ministry of
Power was assigned the task to complete electrification of all these remaining
un-electrified villages within the targeted time frame.

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY)

The scheme envisages (i) electrification of un-electrified villages, (ii)
intensive electrification of already electrified villages to provide access to
households, (iii) strengthening and augmentation of sub-transmission and
distribution infrastructure to improve quality and reliability of power supply,
(iv) feeder separation to provide assured power supply to farmers and (v)
metering of feeders, distribution transformers and consumers to facilitate
energy audit and reduction of losses. The erstwhile rural electrification scheme
was subsumed in DDUGJY as a separate. rural electrification component. The total
outlay of the scheme is Rs.75893 crore with Gross Budgetary Support from
Government of India of Rs. 6,3027 crore. Projects sanctioned under the scheme
are under various stages of implementation.

Planning and Strategy

The task of electrification of all remaining un-electrified villages was taken
up under the scheme of DDUGJY in a mission mode. The pace of village
electrification got very slow in the 3 years prior to 2015-16 (201213: 2587,
2013-14: 1197, 2014-15: 1405) which implied that business as usual approach
would have taken another 10 years for completion of village electrification.

Therefore, detail consultations were done with all the stakeholders to
understand the present scenario, availability of resources, possible remedial
measures to accelerate the progress, monitoring mechanism etc. and this gave
rise to new ideas, strategy and approach. These Include: Enablers >Funds >
Handholding > Monitoring.

Proper identification of villages with Census 2011 Code: All States were
requested to identify remaining un-electrified villages with census code of 2011
to exactly find out the name, geographical location, demography etc. for robust
planning. Prior to this program, generally the progress used to be monitored in
terms of number of villages.

Solar PV based off-grid solutions for remote / inaccessible villages: It
was observed that many of these remaining un-electrified villages are located in
remote areas, areas with difficult terrain in snow bound hills or in deep forest
and in Left Wing Extremism affected areas etc. Reaching these villages,
transportation of material and erection of necessary electricity infrastructure
was a real challenge. Therefore, it was decided that in or cost effective, such
villages would be electrified through off-grid mode using Solar Photovoltaic
based solutions. Accordingly, projects were sanctioned for off-grid villages
also under DDUGJY.

Standard Bidding Documents and e-tender were focused on.

Innovative Financing: as the pace of work increased there was a need to ensure
availability of funds to states under the scheme. In addition to the budgetary
support, Ministry of Finance also allowed Ministry of Power to raise money from
the market, in the form of bonds, through financial institutions like PFC and
REC, so that adequate fund is available with states for execution of the work.
Rs 9000 cr were raised in the last two financial years through this Extra
budgetary Resources (EBR).

Flexibility to States for execution of works:

Considering the diverse geographical, demographic and other conditions, it was
felt that a strait jacket approach or one size fits all may not work and
therefore, States were given adequate liberty to execute projects on turnkey
/partial turnkey / departmental mode as per the suitability and their choice.

Handholding States/Discoms: necessary help was provided to the states/discom
wherever required. Nodal agency opened its office in almost all states, deputed
its senior officers to interact with the state on daily basis and provide help
in organising and getting things done. In order to strengthen and augment
capacities of the State DISCOMS / Power Deptt., REC appointed Gram Vidyut
Abhiyanta at block/district level to assist them in monitoring and expeditious
implementation of the program. These GVAs are graduate engineers from local
areas to assist DISCOMS in extensive 6 field monitoring.

Mlilestone based monitoring: The entire process of village
electrification was divided in 12 steps / milestones with stipulated timelines
for monitoring and capturing progress. These milestones include the entire
process right from award of work, survey, material procurement, material
delivery at site, erection and commissioning and energisation etc. Rigourous use
of proj ect management tools was undertaken to ensure completion of project and
energization of village.

Transparency and accountability: To ensure transparency and dissemination
of information to public at large with regard to process and progress on
electrification of these villages,

mobile App “Garv” was launched. Dissemination of information in public domain
also created an environment of enhanced accountability in the system.

Implementation Challenges and Remedial Measures

It is worthwhile to mention that most of these remaining villages were located
in remote and inaccessible areas with difficult hilly terrain, deep forest
areas, Left Wing Extremism affected areas. Thus, the most important aspect of
this village electrification program was to overcome all such challenges which
stood as a major barrier in extending electricity to the poor people of this
country for about 70 years after independence. The difficulty level further
enhanced as the States moved further. The major challenges involved were as

Inaccessibility and non-feasibility of conventional Grid system: 2,762

Difficult hilly terrain: 245 villages (J&K-54, Arunachal Pradesh-182,

Head loading of materials over 1-10 days: 102 villages (Arunachal-90,

Material transportation by choppers: 51 villages (J&K-35, Arunachal

Areas affected wlth Left Wing Extremism (LWE) activities: 7614 villages
(Bihar 1044, Jharkhand 2478, Chhattisgarh 1051, Madhya Pradesh 14, Odisha 3027)

Forest clearance: 415 villages (J harkhandl 55, Uttarakhand-23,
Odisha-45, Assam-32, Madhya Pradesh1 60)

Railway Clearance: 38 villages (Bihar-37 & Assam-1)

The dynamism of this assignment can be gauged from the fact that during the
execution process, 9 States reported another 1227 census villages which they
found un-electrified. Electrification of all such villages was also taken up
promptly. Out of these, 1193 villages have been electrified and remaining 34
vill ges vere found uninhabited.

Government of India and World Bank sign $500 Million Additional Financing for
Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana Rural Roads Project

The Government of India and the World Bank recently signed a $500 million loan
agreement to provide additional financing for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak
Yojana (PMGSY) Rural Roads Project, implemented by Ministry of Rural
Development, Govt. of India, which will build 7,000 km of climate resilient
roads, out of which 3,500 km will be constructed using green technologies. The
World Bank has supported PMGSY since its inception in 2004. So far it has
invested over $1.8 billion in loans and credits mostly in the economically
weaker and hill states across North India Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand,
Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh. It has built and improved
about 35,000 km of rural roads and benefited about eight million people with
access to all-weather roads.

Adequate maintenance of the existing 4.6 million km of road network is emerging
as a major challenge. Many parts of the existing road network are either
vulnerable to or have already suffered damage from climate induced events such
as floods, high rainfall, sudden cloud bursts and land-slides.

The PMGSY and the Bank’s involvement under this additional financing will
emphasize on managing the rural road network through green and climate-resilient
construction using green, low-carbon designs and new technologies far beyond
merely funding civil works. This will be done through the following measures:

Pre General Studies Study Material

  • Climate vulnerability assessment during the design process
    to identify the critical locations affected by floods, water logging,
    submergence, cloud bursts, storms, landslides, poor drainage, excessive
    erosion, high rainfall, and high temperatures.

  • Special treatment for flood-affected areas through adequate
    waterways and submersible roads to allow easy passage of water, use of concrete
    block pavements, and improved drainage;

  • Use of environmentally optimized road designs and new
    technologies which uses local and marginal materials and industrial by-products
    such as sand, local soils, liy ash, brick kiln wastes, and other similar
    materials in place of crushed rocks;

  • Innovative bridges and culverts through use of
    pre-fabricated/pre-cast units for roads and bridges having better ability to
    withstand earthquakes and water forces such as continuous beams, bearing free
    construction, and river training works;

  • Use of hill cutting material in hill roads ensuring its
    productive use and resolving its disposal problem, use of bio-engineering
    measures, improved drainage and other treatments for landslide prone areas and
    providing adequate slope protection.

The Additional Financing will also fill the gender gap by creating employment
opportunities for women in construction and maintenance. The earlier project had
piloted community-based maintenance contracts through women self-help groups (SHGs)
for routine maintenance of 200 km of PMGSY roads in Uttarakhand, Meghalaya and
Himachal Pradesh. SHG-run maintenance contracts will now be exten o ‘d to about
500 km roads over 5 states. The $500 million loan, from the International Bank
for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 3-year grace period, and a
maturity of 10 years.

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