Thursday, April 25, 2024

100% rural electrification a pipedream?


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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, March 2: As many as 154 villages in the state reel under darkness with the ambitious rural electrification schemes doing too little for the villagers there.
In the tally, South Garo Hills is on top with 50 villages followed by Ri-Bhoi and West Garo Hills with 17 each. Other follow — West Khasi Hills 15, South West Khasi Hills and West Jaintia Hills 12 each, East Garo Hills 10, North Garo Hills 8, East Jaintia Hills and East Khasi Hills 4 each, and South West Garo Hills 3.
According to the government, electricity connection will be provided to the un-electrified villages through an upcoming centrally sponsored scheme.
It may be recalled that the Centre had launched the Saubhagya Scheme in October 2017 to achieve universal household electrification in the country.
The Meghalaya government agreed in March 2018 to implement the scheme.
But the CAG’s performance audit of the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) and Saubhagya Scheme found undue favour in award of work in January 2019 to a firm Satnam Global resulting in avoidable expenditure of Rs 149.21 crore to the state.
Opposition party leader and former Chief Minister, Mukul Sangma had also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a probe by a central agency into alleged irregularities in the installation of smart meters and the implementation of the Saubhagya scheme.


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