• Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) was launched in April 2005 by merging all ongoing schemes.
  • Under the programme, 90% grant is provided by Govt. of India and 10% as loan by Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) to the State Governments.
  • Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) is the nodal agency for the programme.

Habitations above 100 population are being covered under the scheme. During XI Plan, 327 projects costing Rs.16,268 Crore have been sanctioned for electrification of 49,383 villages and for providing 162 lakh electricity connections BPL households. Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Goa, Lakshadweep, Puducherry are not participating in RGGVY programme.

New definition of village electrification came into effect from the year 2004-05

As per the new definition, a village would be declared as electrified, if :

1) Basic infrastructure such as Distribution Transformer and Distribution lines are provided in the inhabited locality as well as the Dalit Basti hamlet where it exists.

2) Electricity is provided to public places like Schools,Panchayat Office,Health Centers,Dispensaries,Community centers etc.

3) The number of households electrified should be at least 10% of the total number of household in the village

Questions and Answer for the Booklet to be published by PIB on Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY).

1. What is Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana?

Central Government launched “Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana” on 4th  April,  2005  for  attaining  the  National  Common  Minimum  Programme  (NCMP) goal of providing access  to electricity  to all households  in  the country in five years.

2. What are the aims of the scheme?

The  scheme  aims  at  electrification  of  over  1  lakh  un-electrified  villages  and  providing electricity connections to 2.34 crore rural households. The estimated cost of the scheme is approximately Rs. 51,000 crore.

3. What is the role of the Central Government in RGGVY?

Under  the  scheme,  Central  Government  provides  90%  Capital  subsidy  for  construction  of  Rural  Distribution  Backbone  (REDB),  Creation  of  Village Electrification  Infrastructure  (VEI),  and Decentralised Distributed Generation  (DDG).  Below  Poverty  Line  (BPL)  households  will  be  provided  free  electricity  connections with 100% capital subsidy amounting Rs.2200/- per household in  all  rural  habitations.  APL  (Above  poverty  line)    households  will  obtain  connections according to procedure prescribed by State utilities. 10%  of  the  project  cost will  be  provided  by Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) as soft loan.

4. Which village or hamlet is eligible for the Scheme?

A village or hamlet with population of 100 or more is eligible for the scheme.

5. Who can get free connection?

All the BPL families are eligible for free connections under the scheme

6. Is  there  a  provision  for  those  who  are  not  eligible  for  free  connection?

Households  above  poverty  line  will  pay  for  their  connections  at  the  State  prescribed  connection  charges  and  no  subsidy  will  be  available  for  this purpose.

7. Can  school  buildings  /  dispensaries  /  Panchayat  office  etc.  be electrified under RGGVY?

Access  to  electricity  is  being  provided  to  these  establishments  under  the scheme.

8. Where to apply for electricity connection under RGGVY?

In  case  applicant  falls  under  BPL  category,  he/she  will  be  provided  a  free  connection under the scheme on the recommendation of Gram Panchayat.   In  case  of  APL  connection,  applicant  will  have  to  make  an  application  to  the concerned Vidyut Karyalaya nearby state utility office.

9. Who can apply?

Any persons residing in the area covered by the scheme can apply.

10. Who sanctions/approves application?

In  case  of  BPL  connection  Gram  Panchayat  and  in  case  of  APL  connection concerned Vidyut Karyalaya nearby state utility office.

11. How does one get his village included in the DPR?

Under  the scheme, state power utility prepares  the Detailed Project Report  in  accordance with  the RGGVY Guidelines.  It  is  the  responsibility of state power utility  to  include  all  the  un-electrified  villages  and  hamlets  (above  100 population)  in  the  DPR.  The  utility  should  also  include  already  electrified villages, which need  intensive  electrification  to provide access  to  electricity  to  all  the  rural  households  and  to  provide  free  connections  to  BPL  families  without electricity connection at present.

12. What is the funding pattern for the scheme ?

Under  the  scheme,  projects  are  financed  with  90%  capital  subsidy  by  the  Central  Government  for  provision  of  Rural  Electricity  Distribution  Backbone  (REDB),  Creation  of  Village  Electrification  Infrastructure  (VEI)  and  Decentralised Distributed Generation (DDG), wherever required.  Electrification  of  unelectrified  Below  Poverty  Line  (BPL)  households  will  be  financed with 100% capital subsidy amounting to Rs.2200/- per household in  all  rural  habitations.  Households  above  poverty  line  will  pay  for  their  connections  at  state  prescribed  connection  charges  and  no  subsidy  will  be  available for this purpose.

13. How much amount per project is sanctioned ?

Based on recently awarded rural electrification projects,  the Ministry of Power has  formulated  following  cost  norms  for  village  electrification  in  various targeted areas : -

14. Who is the implementing agency ?

The state power utilities have the responsibility of implementing the work of rural electrification in their respective states.  However, keeping in view the huge amount of work, Government of India has made the services of CPSUs available  to  the  state  utilities  for  implementing  RGGVY  scheme.    States, interested  in availing  the services of CPSUs may enter  into MoUs with  the CPSU(s) for availing their services.

15. Can Gram Panchayat implement the project ?

No.  Gram Panchayats do not have required expertise for implementing such projects.    However,  they  may  provide  their  services  as  Franchisees  for management  of  distribution  in  rural  areas,  once  the  project  has  been completed under the RGGVY.

16. How is the quality of equipment / construction controlled ?

The  projects  under  the  scheme  are  subjected  to  a  Three  Tier  Quality Monitoring Mechanism.  The details are as under : -

(a) First Tier

Project  implementing agency  (PIA) would be  responsible  for  the  first  tier of the Quality Control Structure. Further PIA will engage third party inspection agency, whose  responsibility will  be  to  ensure  that  all  the materials  to  be utilized and the workmanship conform to the prescribed specifications. This inspection will cover approx. 50% villages on random sample basis for each project.

(b) Second Tier

Rural Electrification Corporation, will get the inspection done of the works/ materials.   The  inspection  will  cover  quality  checks  at  pre-shipment  stage  at  the vendors’  outlet  for  major  materials  and  10%  villages  on  random  sample basis.

(c) Third Tier

Independent  Evaluators  (Individuals  /  Agency)  will  be  engaged  by  the Ministry of Power  for  evaluation, at  random, of  supply and  erection under the  programme.  All  works  rated  ‘unsatisfactory’  shall  be  re-inspected  by RQM  or NQM  after  a  rectification  report  has  been  received  from  the  REC Quality Coordinator.    Recurrent adverse reports about quality of works in a given District / State might  entail  suspension  of  the Programme  in  that  area  till  the underlying causes of defective work have been addressed.   The Quality Control Mechanism would be governed by  the Quality Control Manual, which has been released by REC for the scheme.

17. What is a franchisee ?

Under  the RGGVY  scheme, deployment of  franchisees  is mandatory in  the  areas for the management of rural distribution in the areas, where projects have  been  financed  under  the  scheme.      These  franchisees  will  be  the authorized representatives of the state power utilities.    They may be given the responsibilities of operation and maintenance of the distribution system, issuance of electricity connections, attending of minor faults, meter reading, issuance of  electricity bills,  collection of bill payment  etc.     They will work under  the  supervision  of  the  state  utility,  which  will  have  the  over  all responsibility of providing proper services to its consumers.

18. Who is eligible to become a franchisee ?

A  franchisee,  can  be  Non-Governmental  Organisations  (NGOs),  Self  Help Group, User Associations, Cooperatives or individual entrepreneurs .

19. Can women become franchisees?

Yes. The Self Help Groups  of women may  also become  franchisees.   Such Self Help Groups are already operating in Uttranchal and West Bengal.

20. Where  can  one  get  information  regarding  RGGVY  scheme  and progress of works?

On  the  website  of  Ministry  of  Power  i.e.http://powermin.nic.in.  A dedicated website to RGGVY will be launched shortly.

21. How many villages have been electrified so far under RGGVY?

As on 31.3.2008, 47,826 un-electrified villages have been electrified under RGGVY.    Additionally,  40,838  electrified  villages  have  been  intensively electrified.

22. How many households have been electrified ?

As on 31.3.2008, a total of 27,71,610 rural households have been provided electricity  connections,  which  include  free  connection  to  22,93,770  BPL households.

23. How  many  villages  will  be  electrified  under  the  sanctioned RGGVY scheme ?

The Government has sanctioned Phase-I of the RGGVY scheme with overall subsidy of Rs.33,000 crore.  It is targeted to electrify 1.15 lakh unelectrified villages, intensively electrify 3.41 lakh electrified villages and to provide free electricity connection to 2.34 crore BPL households in these villages.

24. Whether with  the  given  supply  of power  in  states,  the  target  of rural electrification can be achieved ?

The  supply  of  power,  in  turn  of  Section  43  of Electricity  Act,  2003  is  the responsibility  of  distribution  licensee.    The  Section  stipulates  that  the distribution licensee shall, on an application by the owner of occupier of any premises, give supply of electricity to such premises, within one month after receipt of the application requiring such supply.  Section 6 of the Act, 2003 stipulates  that  the  concerned  State  Government  and  the  Central Government  shall  jointly  endeavour  to  provide  access  to  electricity  to  all areas including villages and hamlets through rural electricity infrastructure and  electrification  of  households.    RGGVY  envisages  creation  of  rural electricity  infrastructure,  but  as  part  of  tripartite  agreement  signed  with State  Government,  it  will  be  the  responsibility  of  State  Government  to supply at least 6-8 hours of electricity to villages electrified under RGGVY.

25. What is Rural Electrification Policy ?

compliance with Electricity Act, 2003,  the Central Government notified  the rural Electrification Policy on 23.8.2006.  The Policy aims at:

  • Provision of access to electricity to all households by year 2009.
  • Quality and reliable power supply at reasonable rates.
  • Minimum lifeline consumption of 1 unit per household per day as a merit good by year 2012.

26. What  instructions  have  been  given  to  states  for  comprehensive and sustainable development of rural electricity infrastructure?

States  have  been  advised  to  formulate  their    Rural  Electrification  Plans  to achieve the goal of providing access to all households.  The Rural Electrification Plan  is  to   map  the  requirements  in  respect of  rural  electrification and detail the  electrification  delivery mechanism(grid  or  stand  alone)  planning  for  inter alia, the availability of sufficient power, provision of suitable transmission and

sub-transmission  network,  electricity  to  remote  villages,  requirement  and availability  of  funds  from  different  sources,  deployment  of  franchisee, determination of bulk supply tariff for franchisees, etc.  The Plan may be linked to  and  integrated  with  district  Development  Plans  as  and  when  such  plans become  available.    The  plan  should  be  intimated  to  the  Appropriate Commission.  Twelve states have so far submitted their final/draft RE Plans.

27. What steps have been taken by MOP for franchisee development?

Ministry of Power has launched a National Programme for Franchisees in May 2006 to  facilitate  installation of  franchises  in states.   At the time of  launching of  the  programme,  REC  circulated  franchisee  guidelines  to  all  the  States  in May, 2006. Development  of  capacity  building  of  franchises  is  being  pursued  by  the Ministry of Power with REC & USAID.   Ministry  of  Power  has  launched  3  “National  Franchisee  Development Programme.”    It  has  two  component  namely  Training  of  Trainers(ToT)  and Training  of  Franchisees.    ToT  programme  targets  to  develop  2000  trainees across  the country.   Franchisee  training programme  targets coverage of about 30,000  participants.    10(ten)  ToT  programmes  and  3  (three)  programmes  for franchisee development have been conducted upto March, 2008 benefiting 289 and 88 participants respectively.

28. What are the issues which have affected smooth implementation of RGGVY.

The following issues have affected smooth implementation of the programme:-

i) Delay in receipt of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs).

ii) Delay in forest clearance.

iii) Delays in land acquisition for 33/11KV sub-stations.

iv) Limited number of good agencies able to execute turnkey jobs.

v) Very high rates quoted by contracting agencies.

vi) Shortage of material and increased prices.

vii) Delays in the issue of road permit and way bills.

viii) Delays in taking over of physical assets created by Central Public Sector

Undertakings (CPSUs) under RGGVY by state utilities.

ix) Delays  in Panchayat  certificates  for  village  electrification as per  revised definition.

x) Lack of awareness among villagers for taking new connections.

xi) Very poor upstream rural electricity infrastructure in some states.

xii) Delay in finalisation of BPL lists by some states.

xiii) Refusal to waive state and local taxes on materials by some states.

xiv) Difficult terrain in some cases.

3 Responses to RGGVY

  1. Nand Gopal says:

    Very precise and informative

  2. Very enlightening and beneficial to someone whose been out of the circuit for a long time.

    - Kris

  3. Mirko Filipovic says:

    Thanks for this great post. The info I have gained from your blog is truly encouraging

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