Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday directed the state power department to adopt an aggressive strategy for timely implementation of the ambitious rural electrification scheme Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana – Saubhagya in the state.
Sonowal while reviewing the progress of the scheme in a meeting at his office conference hall at Janata Bhawan asked the department to take steps for empowerment of ‘turnkey contractors’ and engaging one officer each district to expedite and monitor the electrification process and reporting progress on day-to-day basis.
Calling for extreme sincerity from the contractors and power department, the chief minister said that the scheme had borne out of special initiatives of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to illuminate the lives of the poor and underprivileged section of the country.
“The power department must take cognizance of the hallowed objective of this scheme and walk the extra mile to ensure its swift and effective execution”, he observed.
Considering the challenges before the department in terms of accessibility, infrastructure and other issues in implementation of the scheme, Sonowal advised to identify the areas to be covered into extremely difficult, moderately difficult and easily accessible categories. He moreover suggested pressing the services of the turnkey contractors and the power department in achieving the targets district-wise and making the scheme more visible amongst the beneficiaries.
The power department officials during the review informed the chief minister that while 47 lakh households have already been electrified under the scheme, works for another 14.25 lakh households have reached different stages of completion.
Minister of State (independent charge) for Power Topon Kumar Gogoi, chief secretary Alok Kumar, principal secretary, power and chairman of APDCL Jishnu Baruah, principal secretary to CM Sanjay Lohiya, MD, APDCL Puru Gupta and other senior officials of the department were present in the meeting.
Saubhagya scheme aims at providing free electricity connections to all households, both APL and poor families in rural areas and poor families in urban areas in the country within December 2018.