The Ministry of Power, Government of India signed the MoU for Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) with Tamil Nadu in New Delhi, on 9th January, 2017. Also, with the signing of the ‘24×7 Power For All (PFA)’ roadmap document with the State, the roadmap for all the 28 States, except one, and all the 7 Union Territories in the country have now been finalized and is under implementation. It is the most significant milestone in this initiative founded on the principles of cooperative federalism. Providing access to reliable and quality power supply to all citizens/ establishments by 2019 is at the core of the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi’s vision for the nation and the Ministry of Power’s 24×7 PFA program is aimed at delivering on it.
The Program has been instrumental in mainstreaming the Ministry’s focus on energy efficiency and Demand Side Management interventions and has resulted in increased participation with speedy rollout of the UJALA/ DELP and other EESL led schemes. It is important to note that UJALA has emerged as the world’s largest and most successful LED bulbs program. Increased role of central sector agencies, such as NTPC, in addressing sectors’ operational viability in the case of proposed acquisition of state owned generation assets in Rajasthan and in fast-tracking capacity addition in the case of Patratu project in Jharkhand are outcomes of the comprehensive approach adopted under 24×7 PFA Program to resolve state specific problems.
Besides development of segment wise coordinated physical rollout plans and rigorous analysis on financial viability of state utilities under the 24×7 PFA program in two States of Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, the plans for which were made in first 100 days of coming of this Government, led to the formulation of the UDAY. Looking at the balance sheets of these states, it was found that unless the states are taken out of the debt trap in which they were in and made financially sustainable, all plans of 24×7 would remain unfulfilled. The PFA Program has also benefited several states in addressing funding gap for the investments required to ensure 24×7 power access to all. The funding gap analysis conducted as part of the exercise enabled the Ministry to assist states through innovative means of financing including mechanisms such as additional funding under ongoing programs (like DDUGJY, IPDS), multilateral funding, additional support from FIs and PPPs etc.
Electricity being a concurrent subject and given the focus of the Government on pursuing cooperative federalism, the first task was to develop and agree on detailed roadmaps for each state. State specific roadmaps were prepared under the guidance of the Ministry of Power and Central Electricity Authority (CEA). 24×7 PFA initiative has provided the much needed platform for all-encompassing integrated planning. In addition to integrated planning at the level of vertically unbundled utilities and other state level agencies, the exercise also provided an opportunity for mainstreaming the efforts of all central level ministries and agencies, such as Ministry of Coal, MNRE, PGCIL, NTPC, BEE, EESL, REC, PFC etc., to ensure access to reliable and quality power to all households/ establishments in each and every state by 2019. To further augment the effort of the states under the 24×7 PFA initiative, the Ministry is now formulating a scheme for funding of the investments required to ensure last mile connectivity to all households which are not already covered under DDUGJY and state schemes.