April 9, 2015 3:36:03 pm
There is sufficient power available across the country, it is for the state’s to purchase and ensure that every village, every household gets it 24×7 by 2019. This is what Piyush Goyal, union minister of state for power (independent charge) said at the two-day power ministers’ conference that began in Guwahati on Thursday. Power ministers of 21 states are attending the conference.
Goyal also said transmission of power, that had so long remained a major bottleneck, was also improving, especially with completion of several major transmission projects across the country. “It is a joint and shared responsibility and effort that the states and the Centre must engage in to ensure 24×7 power, and quality power to every household,” he said.
“The 6000-MW transmission corridor from Biswanath Chariali in Assam to Agra will be ready in three or four months. PGCIL is fast-tracking its 6000-MW transmission facility right up to Kerala Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh has lot of power. States which have power shortage will immensely benefit (from these) especially in the northern belt. There is sufficient power, please buy,” Goyal said.
Hinting at the coal-gate scams that had taken place during the UPA regime, Goyal also said that it was time integrity, transparency and responsibility were established in the country’s power sector. “Purchase of all items above Rs 10 lakh should be made through e-procurement, through a transparent mechanism. No cheating should be encouraged. States too should put in place e-procurement mechanisms,” the power minister said. Goyal particularly referred to the coal block allotments made during the present BJP-led government and said it has been appreciated worldwide.
Earlier, speaking on the occasion, union power secretary PK Sinha said the government was in favour of introducing competition in distribution too so that the consumer had the option to choose from five or six distributors. “This will also make power cheaper and bring about a major reform in the distribution segment. States will have to draw up their own plans. It has to be done in a phased manner,” Sinha said.
Sinha too said power was available, but there was a dearth of buyers. “Power is available, but there are no buyers. States should come up with state-specific action plans in the next six months for 24×7 power to all households. They should draw up long-term and medium-term plans,” Sinha said. States, he said, could also go for competitive bidding for intra-state transmissions.
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