Bhubaneswar: At least 500 villages in Orissa are absolutely in darkness. Union minister of state with independent charge of power, coal, new and renewable energy and mines Piyush Goyal Friday claimed that 534 villages in Orissa are yet to be electrified under Deendayal Upadhaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DUGJY), even in 2017.
Addressing a video conference from New Delhi, Goyal said, “A total of 3474 state villages were targeted to be electrified by May 2018. Of them, 2425 villages have been electrified so far and people have deserted 515 villages. But, the remaining 534 villages have no power connection,” stated Goyal addressing reporters from across the country.
However, Goyal expressed his dissatisfaction over the pace of the power scheme implementation in the state. “A target has been set to electrify 106 villages every month. But, the state government could electricity only 46 of them till this part of May. Hopefully, they will meet the target,” Goyal hoped. He said the scheme had picked up momentum in the initial days of implementation in 2014.
“The scheme did not progress for the first six-seven months and after a lot of persuasion from the Centre the state government moved ahead,” he added. There are, however, a few inaccessible pockets in the state, which cannot be electrified and hence solar power facilities would be provided to such areas. The Orissa Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA) will undertake the non-conventional energy scheme in the state.
“The solar power can be provided by two methods. In the first, a mini grid will be set up and there will be centralised connection for 30 families. In the second, an individual set of Photo Voltaics (PV) panel and a battery will be given to each family. The agency will manage the system for five years,” he informed the conference.
“The ministry has also launched an app named ‘Urja Mitra’ to inform consumers about power-cuts,” he added.