‘Curb electricity theft and focus on quality’: Power Ministry’s suggestions to states on rural electrification

To combat various challenges of rural electrification, the Union power ministry has suggested to states that their power distribution companies (discoms) should raise “awareness among public at large on uses of electricity”, take up “extensive drive to curb theft of electricity and regularising illegal connections” and “focus on quality, reliability, quantity and timings of power supply in rural areas”.

Moreover, the ministry has suggested a rationalisation of “cost of connection” for rural households, 100 per cent metering at all levels to “facilitate energy audit” and rationalisation of tariffs in line with tariff policy 2016. These “measures to facilitate release of connections to households” were suggested by the power ministry in the agenda for a two-day conference of state power ministers, which will be held on May 3 and May 4, in New Delhi. “Under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), GoI (Government of India) is providing free electricity connections to BPL (below poverty line) households but if the field reports are believed, many BPL households are not willing to take connections because of the fear of high-amount bills likely to be received by them and its payment,” the ministry noted in the agenda.

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