Cabinet nod for continuation of rural electrfication programme

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New Delhi, Jan 3 (UNI) The Cabinet today approved the continuation of the rural electrification programme in the 11th plan period that would bring power to 1.15 lakh villages and 2.34 crore households by 2009.

The rest of the un-electrified villages will be electrified and all rural households will be provided access to electricity by 2012, Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said after the Cabinet meeting.

The move would also help providing conections free of charge to below poverty line (BPL) families and provide access to electricity to all rural households in the country.

This would also decentralise distributed generation and enable electrification of such villages where conventional methods are not feasible or not cost effective.

''The quality of implementation will be improved,'' Mr Dasmunsi said.

Taking up new projects will be within the overall limit of Rs 28,000 crores at this stage on the exisiting pattern of 90 per cent capital subsidy and 10 per cent loan, he said.

The programme, called Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY), will increase the rate of reimbursement for providing free conections to BPL households from Rs 1,500 per household to Rs 2,200.

The project will also involve the implementation of a three-tier quality monitoring mechanism, where a third party will be appointed by the implementing agency to ensure utilised material and workmanship is in acordance with the specifications and guidelines.

The inspection will cover approximately 50 per cent of works in each project. The state utilities and CPSUs will be provided eight per cent and nine per cent respectively of the project cost as charges for implementing scheme and for additional expenditure on compulsory third-party monitoring.

At the second tier, the Rural Electrficiation Corporation (REC) will get inspection of the works done through outsourcing to reputed inspection agencies.

In the third tier, the Power Ministry will engage independent agencies to be designated as National Quality Monitors (NQM) to conduct random inspection for effective implementation of the scheme.

UNI RT SR RN2108

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