The government aims to provide round-the-clock cheap electricity to everyone across the country, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday.
“The states have been asked to prepare action plans (that are) specific to their particular states to ensure provision of 24X7 power to all,” Goyal said while addressing a conference of Power, Renewable Energy and Mines Ministers of states and union territories.
Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan have already prepared their action plans. Other states have also taken it up and all documents are likely to be completed by December 2015, he said.
Goyal said a record power generation capacity of 22,566 MW was achieved during 2014-15 as against a target of 17,830 MW.
Actual power generation has been 1,049 billion units (BU) against a target of 1,023 BU in 2014-15, registering a growth of 8.5 per cent over 2013-14, he added.
He asked the state governments to evolve a transparent procurement plan by putting in place e-procurement and tendering mechanisms to take advantage of the available power.
“There is sufficient power available, so please buy it through proper mechanisms to meet the aspirations of people and the industry,” Goyal added.
The government has taken several initiatives to improve the health of distribution and focus on transmission and sub transmission of power, Goyal said.
The Deendayal Upadhaya Gram Jyoti Yojana for rural feeder separation, strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution network in rural areas was approved in November last with an outlay of Rs 43,033 crore, including a budgetary support of Rs 33,453 crore, he said.
Integrated Power Development Scheme has been initiated for strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution network, while 100 per cent metering in urban areas was also approved in November last year with an outlay of Rs 32,612 crore including budgetary support of Rs 25,354 crore, he said.
Goyal added that the Centre has also approved the National Grid Mission – an institutional mechanism for planning and monitoring of implementation of policies and programmes relating to smart grid activities in March this year with an approved outlay of Rs 980 crore and a budgetary support of Rs 338 crore.
The ministry has also planned major investments in the social sector with Rs 1,000 crore to be given for setting up separate toilets in rural schools for boys and girls, he said.
“We have plans to set up 1,25,000 toilets, specifically in rural areas, and this is only 40 per cent of the total requirement,” Goyal said.
There are plans to set up five cancer hospitals, particularly in the states with coal mines like in the eastern states of Jharkhand and Odisha.
In West Bengal there are plans to provide state-of-the-art facilities to ensure that best facilities for cancer patients available in the eastern region, he said.
Another major initiative was to eliminate manual scavenging. “It is unfortunate and a shame that even 67 years after independence this exists”.
“The respective ministries have been asked to share the details and these socially responsible measures are being initiated to set a trend that government departments and personnel are also responsible,” the minister added.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines