Government is connecting villages in naxal hit and inaccessible areas with off-grid power solution under its power for all initiative, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday. “The villages in Naxal affected areas and other such inaccessible regions are being expeditiously connected with off-grid power solutions,” Goyal told the members while chairing a meeting of Consultative Committee attached to ministries of Power and New & Renewable Energy.
According a statement issued by the ministry, Goyal also informed members that according to the latest figures, a total of 10,007 villages (54 per cent) have been electrified across the country. As on July 31 2016, Rs 42,392 crore has already been sanctioned for projects on rural electrification across the country under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) and the work is being expeditiously taken up by the Rural Electrification Corp (REC), he added.
Goyal also said that there has been a quantum jump of 75 per cent in the number of villages being electrified in the April–August period of 2016, as compared to 2015. Some members suggested that the quality of power distribution infrastructure needs to be monitored and accountability fixed on the ground level so as to prevent corrupt practices and ensure that there is a proper last mile coverage of beneficiaries.
Goyal said the job of ensuring the reach of electricity on the ground lies with the states’ utilities and the Centre cannot interfere in their matters under the federal set up. The Union Government has ensured that surplus power and adequate financial support is made available to the states in order to facilitate expeditious Intensive electrification at the village/majla/tola/dhaani level, he said.
Further, he directed the ministry officials to make available all the details of funds sanctioned and disbursed to states and status of project implementation to all the Members of Parliament. “It would help create accountability on the part of the States,” he added. Government has envisaged increasing bio-fuel sector from the current level of Rs 6,500 crore to Rs 1 Lakh crore in the next 10 years. Goyal called for organising an international level competition called Jeevan Spardha to pool in novel innovations, ideas and new technology inventions from the society itself to achieve this target.