Kerala Power Minister M.M. Mani announced on Thursday that the state is set to become the third Indian state to be fully-electrified. Speaking in the Assembly, Mani stated that each and every household in Kerala will have electricity by the end of May. He also announced a special facility under the aegis of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), for the promotion and popularization of solar energy. Till now, out of the 29 states, only two-Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh- enjoy the status of fully-electrified states in India. Speaking to India.com, an official of Power Minister Mani’s office said, “Earlier we were going to announce the full electrification of Kerala on March 31. But due to elections in Malappuram, the program got postponed. Now, we have decided on May 28 as the date when the official announcement will be made.” Elucidating on the state government’s efforts to completely electrify the state, the official said that the government took the help of NGOs to identify the poor households who can’t afford a connection, and reach out to them for providing them with electricity.
“For tribals living deep inside forest areas in Kerala, we laid down underground electric cables running as far as 30 Kms inside. We made sure that no one was left out”, the official said. The official claimed that the government has spent roughly Rs 700 Crores on the whole initiative. Speaking about the government’s attempts to popularize alternative sources of power, the official said that special efforts to produce power in the state, using solar and wind energy sources.
“Currently Kerala produces 30 per cent of its own electricity. The rest 70 per cent comes from the neighboring states at a rate of Rs 10 per unit”, said the official, adding that Kerala government wants to produce its own power that it will sell at a subsidised rate of Rs 2.39 per unit. Before this, the governor P Sathasivam had said in his Republic Day address that Kerala was moving toward becoming a fully-electrified state, adding that the feat required the electrification of around 2.5 lakh households that hitherto did not have a power connection. Replying during question hour, Mani said that apart from full electrification, the government was also exploring the the feasibility of installing meters for street lights and transformers at the panchayat level. He also said that over and above the central subsidy, a grant of Rs 10,000 was being given by the state for an one kilowatt solar project, reported PTI.