The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) would be completing within this month the implementation of a Central Government scheme that provides free electricity connections to all below poverty line (BPL) families in the five southern districts of its Madurai region.

Of the 18,452 connections targeted in the five districts under Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana, only 298 service connections remain to be given. The scheme has been completed in Dindigul, Madurai and Theni districts with 296 connections pending in Ramanathapuram and two in Sivaganga, TNEB sources told The Hindu here on Tuesday.

While all villages in Tamil Nadu had been electrified, this scheme covered 5,761 habitations uncovered till date. In Madurai, the scheme would be reaching 621 habitations in 13 blocks, 3,069 habitations in 14 blocks of Dindigul, 701 habitations in eight blocks of Theni, 1,146 habitations in 12 blocks of Sivaganga and 224 habitations of nine blocks of Ramanathapuram.

With 6,550 service connections, Sivaganga had the highest number of beneficiaries, followed by Madurai (3,641), Dindigul (3,339), Ramanathapuram (2,885) and Theni (2,037).

Also, TNEB sources said that local body schemes such as streetlights were being tagged on with this scheme. All the beneficiaries of the project were being given free of cost one compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), which were more energy-efficient compared to incandescent bulbs. This measure was intended to encourage energy conservation, TNEB sources said.

Execution of the project began in Madurai Region during March last year. The list of BPL families without electricity connections had been obtained from the respective district administrations. The scheme was being executed at an estimated cost of Rs. 72 crore. Financial support for the project was being provided by the Centre through the public sector funding company, Rural Electrification Corporation.

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