As state governments through their respective distribution companies provide free of cost power connections to families that are sitting Below the Poverty Line (or BPL Families), the union power minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday once again urged states to give “on demand” electricity connections to all consumers who are even above the Poverty Line (or APL Families).
Speaking at the launch of the Garv-II mobile App for tracking rural electrification in real-time basis on Tuesday, Goyal said the aim is to give uninterrupted power to all people by 2019 and the pace of release of power connections should not take a hit due to any such distinction of a BPL/an APL family.
The Minister said that the Government aims to achieve ‘24×7 Power for All’ and does not distinguish between BPL and APL households.
States, he said should give on demand power connections to all including APL and BPL families. He urged State governments to determine an average price for electricity connections for APL (Above Poverty Line) families across the State so that they can be given electricity connections through the option of paying by easy monthly instalments (EMIs).
“I have asked all states to provide power connections to APL consumers on demand with the facility of EMI. We are ready to provide funds for the purpose through Power Finance Corp and Rural Electrification Corp for the purpose,” Goyal said,
Admitting that there is a lot of work to be done in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar for providing electricity to all in the states Goyal said: “Because of this (transparency on GARV app) the village got the power by 4 pm.”
According to the GARV-II data, rural electrification programme needs to be stepped up in states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand where 47 per cent, 45 per cent and 30 per cent rural households are electrified.
At present 70.51 per cent or 12.38 crore rural households are electrified in the country out of 17.57 crore families living in villages in the country. Some of the states where all rural families have access to electricity include Gujarat, Goa, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh.
The minister said putting rural electrification data in public domain will improve the efficacy of the programme and keep centre as well as state implementing agencies on toes and consumer will be benefited.