New Delhi, Aug 4 (IANS) The Centre on Thursday said the scope of rural electrification under its Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana has been expanded, which will include separate electricity feeders for supply to farmers.
" ... it will also include separate electricity feeders to farmers through separation of feeders, just like it was successfully done in Gujarat," Power Minister Piyush Goyal said in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.
The Minister said that under the Deendayal Yojana, free electricity connections to 7,59,377 and 14,39,144 households below the poverty line were released during 2014-15 and 2015-16, respectively.
Answering supplementary questions, the Minister said: "The government believes that it is the right of every household to get adequate power and every farmer must be provided electricity in time for his irrigation activity."
Goyal said over 8,000 villages have been targeted for electrification during the current fiscal.
Replying to members, including Ashok Chavan (Congress) and Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav (Rashtriya Janata Dal), Goyal said that as reported by the states, as of April 1, 2015, there were 18,452 un-electrified census villages in the country.
Of these, 9,126 villages are yet to be electrified as of July 31, he said.
Raising supplementary queries, Chavan said 100 per cent rural electrification is actually a misnomer as under the said central scheme any village with only 10 per cent of its households having access to electricity would be "considered electrified".
Answering a question from Konakalla Narayana Rao (Telugu Desam Party), the minister said Andhra Pradesh is a "performing state" on the electrification front.
"Andhra Pradesh has power surplus today and every household in Andhra Pradesh gets full power all the time. The villages in Andhra Pradesh are completely electrified. At the same time, industries get electricity all the time; farmers get adequate electricity," Goyal said.