Piyush Goyal
Amazed by the alacrity of providing uninterrupted power to consumers including for agricultural purposes in Gujarat, the union power ministry has decided to replicate the flagship scheme of Jyoti Gram Yojana (JGY) of the state government. In this connection, the union power minister, Piyush Goyal, has recently announced that the scheme will be implemented in its true spirit at the national level. The central government has already interacted with the state energy minister, Saurabhbhai Patel, during his visit to the state and is keen to implement the scheme in other states with necessary modifications. Interestingly, in 2011 the Planning Commission of India had issued a draft accepting the Jyoti Gram Yojana as a flagship scheme for the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) for the power sector in the country. JGY, which was announced in 2003, was aimed at making available 3-phase quality power supply for 24-hours to all the villages and their Hamlets for non-agricultural activities. The scheme provides separate electric feeder for domestic use and also make available limited but quality supply of power to agriculture for about eight hours a day.

He said adding that over the years, JGY became the backbone of electricity penetration in the state under which a parallel fresh rural distribution network of 78,454 km (HT and LT lines) was laid covering the entire state. This separated agricultural consumers to facilitate load management and regulate agricultural consumption without affecting power supply to other consumers. The scheme involved total expenditure of Rs 1290cr, of which Rs 1110cr was provided by the state government and the rest was borne by the four discoms of the state. The power minister, who was accompanied by Chairperson, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Neerja Mathur along with additional secretary, Ministry of Power, Devendra Chaudhary, mentioned that the promises made in the BJP's election manifesto for 2014 stated that the party's major thrust area for rural development would be to improve village-level infrastructure in terms of roads, potable water, education, health, supply chain, electricity broadband, job creation, security in rural areas and linkage to markets.