Saubhagya scheme fails amid callousness of electricity department

Sonepur/Mayurbhanj: The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana or Saubhagya scheme which envisages providing free electricity connections to each household across the country has completely failed to illuminate many villages in Sonepur and Mayurbhanj districts due to the lackadaisical attitude of the concerned electricity departments.

Although transformers have been installed, electric poles laid down and wiring drawn at Singhijuba under Binika block in Sonepur district, the beneficiaries of the scheme are yet to get power supply. The villagers alleged that despite repeated requests to the authorities, nothing tangible has been done.

A resident of Singhijuba Kripanidhi Haripal said, “Though the concerned department has laid down poles, drawn wires and installed transformers for power supply under Saubhagya Yojana, we are yet to get electricity connections. With matric examinations underway, our kids cannot even read properly.”

Meanwhile, Binika sub-divisional officer (SDO) (electrical), Ranju Ranjan Jena said, “The Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) had assigned the electric supply related construction work to TATA. But some dispute arose over the land on which the substation was to be constructed. However, the issue is resolved now and the work will resume soon.”

Similarly, the people of Kalarada, Murugaghutu and Samilinari in Rairangpur block of Mayurbhanj district are also facing similar problems due to the callous attitude of the electricity department.

As per reports, over 100 Below Poverty Line (BPL) families of the three villages were enrolled under Saubhagya scheme last year, but the families are yet to get electricity connections under the scheme.

The villagers alleged that the concerned electricity department has demanded Rs 300 per family for the power supply.

A villager of Kalarada, Rajib Murmu alleged “The department had done the wiring and installed equipment in my house, but we have not got power supply. Our kids are facing trouble in studying. The concerned officials asked us to pay Rs 300 for the electricity connection.”

SDO (Electrical) of Rairangpur, Giridhari Das, while refuting the charges informed that “The kits have been installed in houses of the consumers but power has not been supplied yet and the process is underway. I spoke to the contractors and the power will be supplied to the benecifiaries of the three villages within March. We have not sought any money from the villagers.”