Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is scheduled to sign the ‘Power For All’ scheme with the Union Power Ministry on April 14. Uttar Pradesh is the only state in the country which is yet to have entered into such an agreement with the Centre.
State Energy Minister Shrikant Sharma told mediapersons on Friday that Adityanath will sign the agreement in the presence of Union Minister of State (Independent) Piyush Goyal in Lucknow.
The function coincides with the BJP’s celebration of the birth anniversary of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar. Sharma did not say if the decision to hold the function on Ambedkar’s anniversary was deliberate. However, the BJP is planning week-long programmes to celebrate Ambedkar’s anniversary.
UP is the only state that has not entered into an agreement under the Centre’s Power For All scheme, which aims to provide round-the-clock electricity to all households. “There are 1.86 crore families in the state, which still don’t have electricity at their homes,” said Sharma.
“The state government is working on providing electricity to every household and field by 2018… The CM has ordered that electricity should be supplied as per roster, according to which, villages should get power for 18 hours, tehsils and Bundelkhand region for 20 hours, and district headquarters and bigger cities for 24 hours,” he added.
Sharma said Adityanath has also directed that there should not be powercuts between 7 pm to 11 pm, when the students prepare for exams. “The government is also going make laws against theft of power more stringent… The state requires about 16,000 MW to supply power and is also purchasing electricity to fulfill the demand,” he added.
About loss of crop due to incidents of fire caused by electricity wires, Sharma said: “District magistrates will ensure that affected farmer get compensation or action will be taken against them.”