Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will declare the state “totally electrified” in Kozhikode on May 29. This was announced by power minister M. M. Mani at a press conference here on Thursday. Over 1.5 lakh households were electrified as part of the project, which according to the power minister had cost the state Rs 173 crore. Of the total beneficiaries, nearly 1.25 lakh households fall in the BPL category, and this included 32,000 scheduled caste and 17,500 scheduled tribe families.
Mr Mani said that the measure of total electrification was not adopted from the Centre’s guidelines, according to which a village is considered totally electrified even if only two of its public utilities and only 10 percent of households within it are electrified. “If that was the case, then Kerala had become totally electrified long time ago,” the minister said. "But our mission was to electrify all the houses in the state.
Not just houses, we also reached power to all the ‘anganwadis’ in the state as part of the project," he added. He said the first step of realising the target was the identification of houses and anganwadis that did not have power connection. "We allowed beneficiaries to submit applications through section offices or through people's representatives," the minister said. "We also encouraged them to use missed calls and WhatsApp to register in the scheme," he added. KSEB employees also visited homes to identify beneficiaries.
The procedures for securing power connections were also simplified. Single-room shacks with a floor area of 100 sq ft or less were granted connections even without ownership documents and houses with a floor area of 1500 sq ft were provided connection on the basis of temporary numbers from panchayats and identity cards alone. In fact, KSEB's responsibility ended with bringing power lines right up to the house, the wiring was the responsibility of the household. The minister said that since most households were poor they did not have the money to do the wiring of their homes....