Odisha to miss RGGVY deadline

Bhubaneswar: Apprehending non-completion of rural electrification works under Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) by March 2012, the Odisha government has sought Centre`s intervention in expediting activities by the central public sector undertakings (CPSUs) in charge of executing the projects.

Three CPSUs like NTPC, NHPC and PGCIL were assigned the job of rural electrification in the state with a target of providing electricity to 44,426 unelectrified, deelectrified and partially electrified villages. The projects were implemented by the three CPSUs in 2007-2008.

However, during the last four years work in 31,265 villages had been completed so far leaving behind as many as 13,161 villages still to be electrified within six months time. Taking pace of the CPSUs into consideration, the state government estimated completion of maximum of 2,195 villages by March 2012.

"I am afraid, with the existing deployment of resources and current pace by the CPSUs, it will be impossible on their part to achieve this figure within the stipulated time frame," Odisha energy secretary G Mathi Vathanan told union power secretary P Uma Shankar in a letter.

Besides, Mathi Vathanan pointed out that infrastructure work relating to installation of 11 KV, 33 KV feeder lines and augmentation of sub-stations is grossly lagging behind. "If rural electrification work is completed within the stipulated time, the villages cannot be energised unless these infrastructures are ready," he said adding that delay in execution of rural electrification works was mostly due to inadequate deployment of skilled man power by contractors and sub-contractors engaged by the CPSUs.

Citing an instance, the state energy secretary pointed out that the PGCIL`s performance was gradually improving after its CMD`s visit to the state. "They (PGCIL) have engaged more man power after its CMD`s visit," he said.

"It is felt that if similar strategy is adopted by NTPC and NHPC, the performance of entire state could improve under RGGVY and the state could achieve the target by the scheduled time line," Mathi Vathanan said requesting the Centre to suggest NHPC and NTPC to review their performance of rural electrification in the state.