After subdued progress in the installation of solar street lights, the Government has extended the second phase of its Atal Jyoti Yojana (AJAY) for a period of one year till March 31, 2021.
The move came after the instructions issued by the Finance Ministry’s Expenditure Department on continuation and extension of public funded ongoing schemes. Additionally, the President of India has also provided his accord for further continuation of the scheme.
Earlier, the AJAY scheme was launched by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) on December 18, 2018 for a period of one year.
Now post extension, government-backed Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), nodal agency implementing the scheme, will continue to implement the scheme as per the earlier approved guidelines.
Therefore, the vendors already empaneled by EESL for the scheme will continue to install solar street lights against the sanction for MPLAD funds issued or to be issued by the respective DMs till March 31, 2020, the Ministry said.
However, for sanctions issued by DMs after March 31, 2020, EESL will issue a fresh tender for the empanelment of vendors for solar street lights installation.
The phase-II of AJAY will cover installation of 3,04,500 solar street lights (SSLs) of 12 W capacity and 75 percent of the cost will come through the MNRE budget and rest 25 percent will be provided from MPLAD funds.
The total cost for implementation of Phase-II was budgeted Rs 761 crore out of which Rs 571 crore was MNRE’s share and Rs 190 crore was MPLAD funds.
However, the progress of the implementation of the scheme is quiet slow because as on March 06, 2020, the total solar LED street lights installed stood at 1,35,577 which is 44.5 percent of the aggregate numbers to be installed.
Although, the work has already been started on 1,61,472 SSLs and total Wattage installed is 9,49,039 W as of March 06, 2020.
Till date the total installation of SSLs in UP, Bihar, Assam, Jharkhand and Odisha were 79,611, 29,967, 6,673, 10,582, and 8,743 respectively.
While, the total number of surveys done, as of now, for SSL installations in the states of UP, Bihar, Assam, Jharkhand and Odisha were 17,394, 4,077, 709, 1,592 and Nil respectively.