With power connections being given to pending 2.09 lakh households in some remote habitations by the end of June, Andhra Pradesh joined Gujarat and Punjab to become the only states to achieve 100 per cent electrification. JM Financials published the report based on a national-level survey on electrification in various states.
The JM Financial reports states: “While 87 and 71 per cent household in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, respectively, have no reported access, there is universal electricity access in states such as Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. Nearly 35 per cent of rural households across the country are still bereft of electricity mainly due to lack of effective monitoring and co-ordination between the Centre and state governments.”
While lauding the officials of the Energy Department for achieving this, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said that their target now is to ensure uninterrupted world-class quality power supply to domestic as well as industrial consumers.
After the state’s bifurcation in June 2014, Andhra Pradesh embarked on a massive electrification mission to provide power to all the villages and remote habitats in the 13 districts. An estimated 8 lakh households were without power connections. “We had started electrification on our own but then the NDA Government announced the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyothi Yogana for rural electrification in August 2015 under which Rs 400 crore was sanctioned for Andhra Pradesh. Of this, 60 per cent was grant and 40 per cent was loan with a rider that if we achieved 100 per cent electrification by 2019, the grant component would become 75 per cent. We took it up as a challenge and fixed a target that we will complete it by end of 2016. On a priority basis we started work, reaching to remote villages, tribal hamlets and habitations. I used to hold tele-conferences with all the staff, down to the last lineman to emphasize on doing the good work and the need to achieve the target,” Principal Secretary (Energy and Infrastructure) Ajay Jain told The Indian Express.
“Where it was not possible to give connections conventionally, we set up solar plants which save energy during the day and supply power at night. This has been done in very remote tribal areas of East Godavari, and Vizag district like Paderu and Aaruku Valley,” Jain said. “By this June end we completed the target of electrifying the 8 lakh households. But it is a continuous process as new houses are constructed and new applications come in,” Jain said.
During a tele-conference with Principal Secretary (Energy and Infrastructure) Ajay Jain and top officials of the Energy Department today, Chief Minister Naidu said, “We achieved 100 per cent electrification by June-end. Access to electricity is a key socio-economic development indicator. Our achievement in the power sector in the last two years is very significant, but is not sufficient. We have to provide world-class services to the consumers by ensuring uninterrupted power supply at affordable prices,” the CM said.
Principal Secretary (Energy and Infrastructure) Ajay Jain outlined a plan to reduce overall transmission and distribution losses, which currently stood at 10.3 per cent, to single digit by the end of the current financial year.
An investment of Rs 20,000 crore has been proposed over the next five years to strengthen the transmission and distribution systems and extend power supply connection on demand, he said. For energy conservation, AP has distributed more LED bulbs to households at subsidized rates and replacing old water pump sets with energy-efficient models.