The villages in Naxal affected areas and other such inaccessible regions are being expeditiously connected with off-grid power solutions, said Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, while chairing the meeting of the Consultative Committee attached to Ministries of Power and New & Renewable Energy, held here today.
Further, Shri Goyal informed the Hon’ble Committee Members that according to the latest figures, a total of 10,007 villages (54%) have been electrified in the country. As on 31.07.16, a sum of 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). The work of rural electrification is being expeditiously taken up by the Rural Electrification Corporation Ltd. (RECL), he added.
Shri Goyal also informed the Hon’ble Committee Members that there has been a quantum jump of 75% in the number of villages being electrified in the period of April – August 2016 as compared to same period last year.
The Consultative Committee meeting started with a presentation on RECL by its Chairman and Managing Director, Shri Rajeev Sharma. The presentation outlined the evolution of RECL since 1969, achievement of Navratna status, progress made in financing of entire Power Infrastructure value chain including renewable energy projects, performance of financial parameters, the challenges ahead and the way forward. The members were also informed that RECL is the nodal agency for DDUGJY, National Electricity Fund (NEF) and actively involved in the implementation of UDAY scheme, inter alia.
All members congratulated the Government and the Ministry of Power on the work done on Rural Electrification (RE ) and said that it will help in reducing the gaps in the reach of power to the villages across the country. Members gave their valuable suggestions to further improve the process of rural electrification. Some members suggested that the quality of power distribution infrastructure needs to be monitored and accountability needs to be fixed on the ground level so as to prevent corrupt practices and ensure that there is last mile coverage of beneficiaries.
Responding to the suggestions and queries raised by the Consultative Committee members, Shri Piyush Goyal said that the job of ensuring the reach of electricity on the ground lies with the State Governments/ Power Utilities and the Union Government cannot interfere in their matters under the Federal setup. 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.
Further, the Minister directed the officials of the Power Ministry to make available all the details of funds sanctioned and disbursed to State Governments and the status of project implementation to all the Members of Parliament. It would help create accountability on the part of the States, he added. He also directed to ensure the appointment of Grameen Vidyut Abhiyantas (GVAs) and District Vidyut Abhiyantas (DVAs) in all states to achieve efficient monitoring of the progress and implementation of rural electrification.
Shri Goyal assured Hon’ble Members that their valuable suggestions would be adopted by the Ministry & RECL.
The second half of the meeting consisted of the Presentation on the overview of the Implementation of Bio-Gas programme under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
Shri Goyal, mentioning about the National Conference on Bio-fuels held recently in New Delhi, envisioned about the coordinated working of the Ministries of New & Renewable Energy, Petroleum & Natural Gas and the Department of Bio-Technology in order to give a fillip to the Bio-fuel sector from the current level of Rs. 6,500 crore to Rs. 1 Lakh crore in the next 10 years.
To achieve this target, the Minister called for organizing an International level competition called Jeevan Spardha to pool in novel innovations, ideas and new technology inventions from the society itself.
The meeting was attended by Shri Narayan Bhai Kachhadiya, Shri Ramesh Bais, Shri Jugal Kishore Sharma, Shri K.N. Ramachandran, Shri Om Prakash Yadav, Shri Uday Pratap Singh, Shri Sushil Kumar Singh, Shri Shailesh Kumar, Shri, Daddan Mishra, Shri Satish Chandra Dubey, Shri Rajesh Pandey, Shri Rajesh Ranjan from Lok Sabha and Shri Bashistha N. Singh and Shri Lal Singh Vadodia from Rajya Sabha.
The Secretary, Power, Shri P.K. Pujari, the Chairman cum Managing Director & Directors of RECL, and senior officials of Ministries of Power and New & Renewable Energy also attended the meeting.