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Hardaspur village in Samastipur district was the last of the total 39,073 villages in Bihar which saw and rejoiced the electricity on Wednesday. The drive by the Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited (BSPHCL) to electrify all the revenue villages was completed a week ahead of its target. Not satisfied with this gigantic task which was hailed by the Centre, the BSPHCL has fixed a target to fully electrify 1,06,249 habitation and total of which 84,359 have already been electrified and in the remaining 21,890 electric would reach by May next.
To mark the historic occasion Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday congratulated the engineers, technocrats and workers of BSPHCL and its subsidiaries and said that under the Seven Resolves of his Government electric has to be provided to each household. Bihar’s ‘Har Ghar Bijli’ scheme was incorporated by the Centre under its ‘Saubhagya scheme’. “We have a target to provide power connection to each household by December 2018,” the CM declared at a function here which was also witnessed by the top officials of the Ministry of Power in Delhi through video conferencing. But the Energy Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav announced that December 2018 deadline has been advanced to May 2018 in view of the speedy progress of the work. The CM also laid foundation stones and inaugurated various energy schemes worth Rs 3030.52 crore under south Bihar and north Bihar power distribution companies, Bihar State Power Transmission Company and Bihar Grid Company Limited spread over entire rural Bihar.
An upbeat Principal Secretary of energy department and CMD of BSPHCL Pratyaya Amrit said the rural electrification scheme is divided in three stages: electrifying villages, then to every habitation and finally to each household. “Now Bihar has find place in the Centre’s list of fully electrified States. Now our target is to electrify all the habitations and take electricity to each household,” he added. The Centre was so impressed with the rural electrification work in the State, once known as the darkest spot of the country, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi publicly praised Bihar. Recently the Centre appealed to all the States at the Energy Ministers conference to adopt Bihar model for rural electrification. The Centre also appreciated Bihar’s ‘Har Ghar Bijli’ scheme and incorporated it in the PM’s ‘Saubhagya scheme’.
The pioneering work in the power sector in Bihar during the past 12 years and particularly last three years, surprised one and all keeping in the poorest work record of the power company Bihar State Electricity Board which was bifurcated in four companies a few years back. Till twelve years ago, or 2005, Bihar’s 80 per cent villages were not electrified and 96 per cent households were dark. There were thousands of villages which had never seen light. CM Nitish said, “People of Bihar had lost the hope to get electricity. The power situation was appalling when we started in 2005 but with our sustained and genuine efforts we have achieved remarkable success. We have executed and implemented schemes without publicity.”
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