Under the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya Yojana) launched by Narendra Modi government, a target had been set to electrify 838,189 households in Chhattisgarh. A proposal worth Rs 8.38 billion for the purpose has been sent to the Union Government.
While the project is being executed, 95 villages in the Naxal-infested pockets of Chhattisgarh are facing serious challenges. The authorities have admitted that it has been near impossible to electrify villages in the terrains that the rebels claim to be their “liberated” zones.
The matter came up for discussion during a high-level meeting held in Raipur between the officials of Rural Electrification Corporation and the Chhattisgarh government to review the status of the electrification scheme. The villages are located across four districts of Bastar, the region infamous for deadly Naxal violence.
Of the 95 villages that have not been connected to the grid, 67 are located in Sukma, 23 in Bijapur, four in Dantewada and one in Narayanpur. Sukma is currently the epicentre of Naxal violence.
Managing Director of Chhattisgarh Power Distribution Company, Ankit Anand, informed those present at the meeting that electrification of these villages was currently not possible due to the Naxal issue and difficult geographical conditions.
Anand said the state government is working out plan to provide the habitats with alternate energy source, and aims to distribute 200 kilo-watt solar home-lights to the residents. The system can charge three LED lamps, operate one TV with on-plug point and charge mobile phones.