Rural Electrification: Orissa

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The Central budgetary support under Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana to four districts, Angul, Nayagarh, Ganjam and Gajapati in Orissa was approved by the Ministry of Power, Govt. of India in 2005. Though the Centre approved the State’s proposal for electrification of 11,374 villages, only 5,249 villages have been electrified. It was targeted to provide electricity to over 3.35 lakh BPL households free of cost during the 10th Plan period. A recent review revealed that only 37,481 BPL households have been energised. Official sources attributed the delay in completion of the programme to lack of skilled manpower by the executing agencies. As the State Government expressed its inability to implement the programme in time, execution of the massive infrastructure programme was handed over to three Central public sector undertakings – Power Grid Corporation of India, National Thermal Power Corporation and National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC). Each PSU was supposed to execute the programme is 10 districts. In the absence of required manpower, the three PSUs preferred to sub-let their contracts to private agencies for execution. But most of the private agencies did not have the expertise and financial capability to complete the work in time. Project proposals of the remaining 26 districts were approved later but 12 districts are yet to show any achievement. Not a single targeted village of Boudh, Rayagada and Kandhamal has been electrified so far and NHPC is the principal contractor for the three above mentioned districts.

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