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Ranchi, Aug. 12: The power utilities are working on a war footing to meet the August 31 deadline to light up the houses of one lakh BPL families.

Appalled at the poor performance of Centre-sponsored rural electrification scheme under Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY), Governor K. Sankaranarayanan on July 29 had set the deadline to provide power. Out of 16,91,797 BPL households, only 3,60,234 have so far got the electricity under the RGGVY, which was launched in 2005 to give power connections to poor families for free.

Energy secretary N.N. Pandey also held a review meeting today with the JSEB, DVC and NTPC officials.

Under the programme 90 per cent grant is provided by the Centre and 10 per cent given as loan by the rural electrification corporation to the state.

Out of 27,968 villages selected under RGGVY, only 7,681 have been electrified while un-electrified and de-electrified (where power was snapped despite connections) hamlets stand at 17,680 and 2,607 respectively.

Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB), DVC and NTPC have been assigned eight districts each to implement the programme. The worst performing districts to provide power are Chatra, Dumka, Giridih, Godda, Pakur, Ranchi, and Sahebganj where 10 per cent of the target has been achieved.Ranchi is also among the worst performers where only 438 out of 41,083 BPL households got power connections.

A village is declared as electrified if basic infrastructure such as transformer and distribution lines is provided in the inhabited locality as well as dalit bustee hamlets where it exists.

“We are trying our best to achieve the target,” said a senior official of the JSEB.

Adviser to governor T.P. Singh, who holds the charge of energy department, said that he was reviewing the progress and would achieve the target by August end.

A senior JSEB official, however, said that the task to give 1 lakh households power connections without upgrading the existing system was a farce. “We have to produce additional power, strengthen the transmissions and distribution system, set up new sub stations. It serves no purpose if we simply give the connections,” he said, requesting anonymity.

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