Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the initiative to electrify these 18,452 villages in 1,000 days – by May 2018 a deadline which has expired without meeting the envisaged target. At the current rate of electrification, it will take four years and seven months for the government to electrify the remaining 20 percent rural households which is estimated at 35 million households and this way even the government set deadline of 2019 too would be missing. But when it comes to total electrification of Jammu and Kashmir targets are yet far off and much more is expected from the agencies involved in power distribution. The Rural Electrification Plan 2012-17, envisaged to achieve provision of access to electricity to all households, quality and reliable power supply at reasonable rates and minimum lifeline consumption of one unit per household per day as a merit good. As per the survey of the 24,655 number of habitations only 13,649 of them are electrified. Similarly 6,554 villages, out of 6657 total, are electrified. Therefore, the number of left out villages and inhabitations, which are not electrified, is 103 and 11,006, respectively. Out of 103 un-electrified villages, 73 number shall be electrified from grid source whereas 30 others, located in Ladakh region, shall be electrified through non-grid sources. Electrification of inaccessible villages will be done through Stand Alone systems and non-conventional sources. In the entire J&K, there are total 15 such hamlets in Poonch District, which will be electrified through non-grid sources under the project funded by Union Ministry of Non-Conventional and Renewable Energy (MNRE). This project has been entrusted to J&K Department of Science and Technology. The central scheme Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) envisages 100 per cent electrification of entire rural India. It is not a small project considering the population and the area of the country. Obviously, Jammu and Kashmir, being one of the States of the Union, also comes within the purview of the scheme. But as it happens, even this scheme that has immense relevance to the development of the State is also fallen a victim of official apathy and lack of interest.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper