Over 40 crore still without electricity: Piyush Goyal

New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANS): Eight crore households in the country, home to more than 40 crore people, have no access to electricity, the government admitted Thursday.

"Even 65 years after Independence such a large number of population does not have electricity. We have to remove all anomalies, and as soon as possible, we have to provide electricity to every household," Power Minister Piyush Goyal said in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour. 

He said that though the government was making all efforts to give these people power connections, implementation of the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) scheme in many states was not completed yet due to various reasons, including lack of land to set up sub-stations.

"Centre's role is very limited in implementation of RGGVY. We cannot micro-manage everything. It is the state government which has to implement the scheme," he said.

In order to cover the unelectrified villages, the RGGVY has been continued in the 12th and 13th five-year plans covering all census villages and habitations with population of more than 100.

The minister said there is total number of 12,468 unelectrified villages in the country, of which 6,882 are in Bihar, 3,144 in Odisha and 1,009 in Assam.

He also said RGGVY stipulates a timetable for completing electrification projects. 

"As per the scheme guidelines, the stipulated period of completion of electrification work is 24 months from the date of award of contract by the respective implementing agencies," he said.


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