Union Power Minister, R K Singh launched the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) scheme for Meghalaya in Shillong on Friday.
The scheme was launched at U Soso Tham auditorium in the presence of Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma, State Power Minister James K Sangma along with other officials.
‘Saubhagya’ is a central scheme for providing electricity to all households in the country. The objective of the scheme is to achieve universal household electrification, create last mile connectivity to all households in rural and urban areas.
Around 56,000 beneficiaries in Meghalaya will get electricity under Saubhagya scheme.
Singh told reporters that the final target is by December 31 this year, when every household in the country must be electrified.
“Apart from the final target, we have sub targets also,” Singh said and informed that in Meghalaya, 14 villages have been targeted to be electrified before April 30 though an actual target is May 11, 2018 in line with the assurance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that all villages in the country will be electrified within 1000 days.
Another target set by the Union Government is that all priority households of villages where 50 per cent population comprised of people from backward sections will get electricity latest by May 5 this year.
Earlier in his speech, the Union Power Minister termed ‘Saubhagya’ a revolutionary scheme and assured the Central Government’s commitment towards ensuring power connectivity to all villages across the country which are no electrified.
He also said that the key to all round development of the country lies in laying down focus targets for the poor, needy and deprived sections of the society.
The Union Minister along with the Chief Minister distributed sanction orders for free household electricity connections to 30 selected beneficiaries on the occasion.
In his address, the Chief Minister said that ‘Saubhagya’ is a wonderful scheme, and assured that the State Government would make efforts to ensure that the goal of providing electricity to unconnected villages in the State is met within the target date set by the Centre.
He also spoke of the need to explore alternative means of power generation including hybrid systems where small hydro projects may be combined with solar energy or wind energy in order to boost power generation in the State.
The Chief Minister also said that ‘Saubhagya’ scheme will help change the economic condition in different parts of the country and called upon all stakeholders to put in concerted efforts towards saving energy.