Power and new and renewable energy minister Raj Kumar Singh on Wednesday launched the Gram Ujala scheme in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi. The scheme offers the world’s cheapest LED bulbs in rural areas at ₹10.
Gram Ujala programme is financed entirely through carbon credits. Under the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the scheme will claim carbon credits. Also, under the new scheme, the rural consumer’s incandescent and CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulbs will be taken back.
“As we scale up, this programme will boost rural employment and local economies. It has tremendous potential to uplift India’s villages & contribute in climate change mitigation,” Singh said in a tweet.
The first phase of the scheme, which comes with no government support or subsidy, was launched from Arrah in Bihar. In the first phase 15 million LED bulbs will be distributed across villages of Arrah (Bihar), Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Vijaywada (Andhra Pradesh), Nagpur (Maharashtra), and western Gujarat.
“Power Minister said that India is leading in energy transition as well as energy efficiency. This scheme is designed specifically for rural homes keeping affordability in mind and it will also result in energy savings as a 12 Watt LED bulb gives equivalent light as of 100 watt incandescent bulb,” union power ministry said in a statement.
The bulbs are offered by state-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd’s subsidiary Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL) by leveraging scale.