Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday took a dig at the previous Congress-led UPA government for failing to fulfill the promise to provide electricity to every village in the country. Interacting with citizens of villages which were electrified in the last four years, PM Modi said that his government believes in working for the benefit of the people without looking to reap any political benefit.
Without naming Sonia Gandhi, PM Modi said that the then Congress president had promised to electrify all households by 2009, but failed to keep the promise.
"In 2005, the then Government promised to electrify every village by 2009. The then President of the ruling party went a step ahead and said we will bring electricity to every home. Needless to say, none of that happened during their long tenure," PM Modi said.
The PM said that those who have not spent their days in dark, won't understand the importance of electricity. "People never thought electricity will reach their villages. I am happy to be a part of this change," PM Modi added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with lakhs of citizens of those villages which have been electrified since 2014.The video conference interaction through NaMo app included beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana - 'Saubhagya' scheme which was launched by the PM on September 25, 2017.
What PM Modi said: Highlights
10:10 am: For the first time we got a PM who cares for us and electrified our village. We had to walk so much for kerosene. We could not study. All this has changed, Class 9 student Aarti Sharma from Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi tells PM Modi
10:04 am: One of the priorities for us is the development of Eastern India. About 14,500 villages out of 18,000 villages not electrified were in Eastern India. We have changed that. Eastern India can play an even bigger role in India's development journey, says PM Modi
10:00 am: Our village, Roro in West Singhbhum District was not very well connected. We had to complete all our work before sunset. All that has changed now as we have electricity now. Now, we also have access to water supply: People from Roro tell PM Modi
09:55 am: Anita Devi from Palamu in Jharkhand tells PM that her village and home have got electricity in 2016. This changed her life forever.
09:52 am: We had to go very far for work such as photocopying. Now, electricity has enhanced convenience. Now, we also pay our bill online, people from Sonitpur district in Assam tell PM Narendra Modi
09:50 am: Electricity made our children particularly happy. We could buy fans as well, which help us during the summers, people from Tripura's Dhalai tell PM Narendra Modi
09:45 am: Now that we have electricity, we can see TV. We can also purchase heaters and our children can study better: People from Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh tell PM Modi.
09:43 am: PM Narendra Modi interacts with people from Leisang village in Manipur, which was the last among the 18,000 villages to be electrified.
09:41 am: From the ramparts of the Red Fort I announced that every village will be electrified. We walked the talk and went to every village. We not only focussed on electrification but also reformed the distribution systems across the country: PM Modi
09:40 am: In 2005, the then Government promised to electrify every village by 2009. The then President of the ruling party went a step ahead and said we will bring electricity to every home. Needless to say, none of that happened during their long tenure: PM Modi
09:36 am: Congress had promised to electrify all villages by 2009, but it failed to keep the promise: PM Modi
09:35 am: When the BJP came into power four years ago, I was shocked to see that over 18,000 thousands had no electricity since decades. This was quite unfortunate, says PM Modi
09:33 am: After years of darkness, thousands of villages were electrified. People living in these villages saw electricity for the first time since Independence, says PM Modi
09:30 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins his interaction with lakhs of people from villages which were electrified in the last four years.
07:26 am: Looking forward to interacting with citizens from villages that have been electrified in the last 4 years. Even after 70 years of Independence, these villages were in the dark. Our Government had the honour of lighting them up and give wings to the aspirations of several people, tweets PM Modi.
Under Saubhagya, free electricity connections to all households (both APL and poor families) are being provided in rural areas and poor families in urban areas.
There are around 4 crore un-electrified households in the country which are targeted for providing electricity connections by December 2018. Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) has been designated as the nodal agency for the Saubhagya scheme.
At the time of the launch, the Government promised to spend a total of Rs 16,320 crore in this massive project to provide electricity to villages.
The rural household expenditure was estimated to be Rs 14025 crore, with Rs 1732.50 crore being allocated for urban households. The gross budgetary support for the scheme was said to be Rs 12,320 crore.