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June launch for rural power project

Rural electrification work would start in 27 districts of the state by the end of June. Work would be awarded thereafter.

“We have received 94 bids to carry out rural electrification work in 17 districts falling under the jurisdiction of North Bihar Power Distribution Company, while 45 bids have been received for carrying out rural electrification work in 10 districts of South Bihar Power Distribution Company,” said the Bihar State Power (Holding) Company Ltd (BSPHCL) deputy general manager (public relations) H.R. Pandey on Saturday.

“At present, the technical evaluation committee of the company is evaluating the technical part of the bids,” said Pandey.

He added that the work on rural electrification would be started by the end of June after completing the bidding process apart from getting clearance from Rural Electrification Corporation in this regard.

The work would be carried out under Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) under 12th Five-Year Plan at an estimated cost of Rs 5049.72 crore.

Sources said under the scheme, habitations, hamlets and villages with at least 100 households would be electrified, adding that the scheme would not make any discrimination between above poverty line and below poverty line (BPL) families unlike the scheme under 11th Five-Year Plan.

Under 11th Five-Year Plan, the agency carrying out rural electrification work had to electrify only 10 per cent of the BPL households in villages, said sources, adding that people were not given distribution transformers according to their energy load.

The bids for rural electrification of 27 districts were cancelled after it was found that bidders quoted 40 per cent above the estimated cost of the project.

The estimated cost of rural electrification for 17 districts of north Bihar is Rs 3,684.18 crore, while it is Rs 1,365.54 crore for 10 districts of south Bihar districts. Together, the estimated project cost has been pegged at Rs 5,049.72 crore, said sources before adding that the total cost of the project may be marginally increased.

While inaugurating and laying down foundation stones for various schemes and projects of energy department worth Rs 12,100 crore on February 22 this year, then chief minister Nitish Kumar had launched the start of rural electrification work in 27 districts under RGGVY and it was promised that the work would be completed in next two years.

Later, the tenders were cancelled as it was 40 per cent above the project cost.

Rural electrification work of Rs 3,130 crore was going on in the remaining 11 districts, four in north Bihar and seven in south Bihar, under RGGVY in 11th Five-Year Plan, sources said. Work in Araria, Kishanganj, Purnea and Siwan districts (of north Bihar) is currently underway since July 2013, while in Patna, Bhojpur, Nalanda, Gaya, Nawada, Rohtas and Banka districts (of south Bihar), it is in progress since October 2013.


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