President A P J Abdul Kalam in the year 2006 dedicated Gujarat government’s revolutionary ‘Jyotigram Yojana’ to the nation that supplies 24 hours continuous three phase quality power to all the 18,065 villages in the state.
Situation prior to Jyotigram :
Till 2003 power supply to villages was for a limited number of hours ranging from 8 to 12 hours, in some cases even less. This was because a common feeder catered to different types of use of electricity: residential, agricultural, industrial and commercial. As it was not feasible to supply electricity throughout the day for the purpose of agriculture – that accounted for about one-third of the total supply from the utilities – the power supply was limited to a few hours. Even during these hours, there were interruptions. Consequently, power supply for domestic, commercial and industrial uses was irregular, inadequate and unpredictable.
Jyotigram Yojana :
The Jyotigram Yojana (JGY) was launched in September 2003 on a pilot basis. It was introduced as a Government–local body participatory scheme, but largely funded through government grant. The pilot scheme covering eight districts which have large agriculture demand was successfully completed in October 2004. The scheme was later extended to other villages. By March 2006 it was implemented throughout the state covering over 18000 villages and about 9700 hamlets. The total expenditure on the scheme was Rs. 1100 crores (Rs 11 billon or US $ 0.25 billion).
The JGY involved erection of 1.6 million electric poles installation of 15,500 transformers and laying down of 75,000 kms. of electric lines. This was implemented in two and a half years from October 2004 to March 2006.
Prior to the JGY, there was 8-14 hours of 3-phase power supply, 10-12 hours of 1-phase power supply and 3-4 hours no power supply in rural areas. There were frequent interruptions even during the period when the utility was expected to supply power to agriculture. There was irregular use of power and illegal conversion from 1-phase to 3-phase use in several cases. After the JGY, there was 24 hours 3-phase supply through JGY feeders and 8 hours 3-phase continuous supply through agricultural feeders. Benefits are :
- Improved quality of power supply
- Less interruption and more stable power supply both to agriculture and other
- Households would be able to use electrical appliances (some relief from drudgery
- to housewives)
- Scope for development of cottage and small-scale industries.
- Scope for improvement of better health, education, information technology and
- other infrastructure facilities in rural areas.
- Less migration from rural to urban areas.
- Better energy accounting and reduction in loss to utilities.
Other benefits :
There are many other initiatives including Jyotigram that has resulted in the below and these are case studies in itself. However, I am just including a short description to explain how this project has far reaching benefits.
The Gujarat Electricity Board has seen one of the most talked-about turnaround in recent times with this year’s profit of Rs 200 crore replacing the whopping cumulative loss of Rs 2,542 crore in fiscal 2000.
Gujarat has been an outstanding performer in agriculture, growing at 9.6% per annum since 2000-01 which is more than 3 times the national average. This is a state that has never been known as an agriculture state.
The state of Gujarat received prestigious Public Service Innovation award of year 2010 for its Jyotigram scheme.
Coverage by our national media :
What is the response of our national media to this great Jyotigram initiative by Narendra Modi. Any independent media would have presented this model to the country creating awareness among people about the welfare the Govt. is capable of doing. However, for our national media if there is something good about Modi then the strategy is to keep a stoic silence or to discredit the achievement by giving some random examples by some random reporter in some random way. Here are some samples (Also note the negative propaganda before Gujarat election)