Even after a decade of launching the fully Centrally-funded rural electrification programme Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY), residents of 31,247 habitations of the State still depend on kerosene to light their lamps.
This startling revelation was made by the Energy Department to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during a review of the rural electrification progress achieved in the State at a high level meeting.
As per the latest figure of Energy Department, 3,294 revenue villages of the State are yet to be covered under the rural electrification programme which has been renamed as Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana after the NDA Government came to power.
The Department claimed that electrification work has been completed in 43,753 out of 47,677 revenue villages in the State and electricity has been provided to over 40,000 villages.
The Department further claimed that power connection has been provided to 54,061 out of 82,014 habitations having less than 250 population and 66 per cent of the villages have been electrified. This means that people of about 35,680 habitation are enjoying electricity.
The total consumer base of the State has increased from 16 lakh in 2000 to 58 lakh in 2015, the Department statistics said.
The State Government launched Biju Gram Jyoti Yojana (BGJY) programme in 2007-08 with an aim to provide electricity to habitations having a population of less than 100 and not covered under RGGVY.
Though the Department is silent on the progress achieved under the State-sponsored scheme, sources said about 4000 habitations still remain out of the reach of electricity.
The State Government had identified 17,847 villages with less than 100 population under BGJY. A report submitted to the Assembly Standing committee on Energy Department said the cumulative achievement till the end of December, 2014 was 14,028 habitations.
"The State Government's statistics is far from the truth. A third party audit into physical and financial progress of the rural electrification programme will give a true picture," said Leader of Opposition Narsingh Mishra.
Dubbing the Government data on rural electrification as lies, Mishra said power cut in rural areas is more than 16 hours.
The Department told the Chief Minister that aggregated technical and commercial loss has been brought down from 57 per cent in 2000 to 38 per cent and it has been targeted to further reduce the loss level to 26 per cent by 2019.
Source- Indian Express