On a day the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar launched ‘Har Ghar Bijli Lagataar’ (uninteruppted electricity supply to every household) programme, senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Tuesday attacked the state government over “tardy” implementation of scheme of electrification of villages. “The intensive electrification is pending in 16,000 villages out of more than 40,000 villages in Bihar,” he told reporters on the sidelines of Janata Durbar at his official residence.
Flaying the Chief Minister for “circumventing” the centre’s rural electrification scheme, ‘Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana’, to take credit for electrification of villages in Bihar under a new scheme, Modi hit out at the state government for incapability to get adequate power production of its own to meet demand.
The senior BJP leader said Kumar should be thankful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for increasing allocation to Bihar from the central pool by 1000 MW to tide over increasing demand of electricity in the state.
Bihar used to get only 1978 MW during the UPA rule, which now stands at 2942 MW, Modi, a former deputy chief minister said.
Finding other faults in rural electrification projects in Bihar, he charged the state government with not providing free connection to the families above poverty line (APL) in rural areas when the centre provides 90 per cent grant and 10 per cent soft loan to the states for rural electrification.
Similarly, the central rural electrification scheme proposes free power connection to the BPL families and for that it gives Rs. 3000 for power connection to each such family, but the state government has failed to provide free electric connection to all 83 lakh BPL families, the senior BJP leader alleged.
He said only 15 lakh BPL families have been given power connection in Bihar out of 83 lakh such families.
The former deputy chief minister also charged the state government with failing to clear outstanding dues of Rs. 1486 crore to NTPC for purchase of power and added that one unit of the 2×250 thermal power plant at Kanti in Muzaffarpur stands shut as the state government has not yet paid Rs 198 crore to NTPC that it had incurred on renovation of the plant.
The financial condition of the Bihar State Power Holding Company, the nodal company for power generation, transmission and distribution, was in bad shape as it has been running monthly loss of Rs. 200 crore due to inadequate collection of electricity bills from consumers at Rs. 470 crore per month against expenditure of Rs. 975 crore, he said.