Gandhinagar: Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s government has decided that all the districts will be connected with a gas grid. The work to achieve this is already under progress. So far, 18 lakh households have been provided with a piped-gas connection, meaning crore citizens are getting piped-gas connections at their doorsteps.
While discussing the energy and petroleum department’s budget proposal, energy minister Saurabh Patel said in the House that once all the districts are connected, the state will be the country’s first to be connected with a gas grid.
Patel also informed the House that state is planning to set up a 25,000 MW capacity solar park on 80,000 hectares of land in Kutch. The government-promoted solar rooftop project too has received an overwhelming response from citizens, he said, adding that the state has received 1.25 lakh applications seeking permission to install rooftop solar panels. Once the solar panels of these applicants are functional, the state will produce 500MW power from rooftop solar panels alone, the minister also said.
The state government has promised the Centre that it will produce 1.75 lakh MW power through renewable energy. It currently produces 8,738 MW solar energy and aims to achieve its target of 22,000 MW by the end of 2022. Decades back, the state’s installed power production capacity was just 6,776 MW. With the govt’s initiatives to push private firms to start production and its decision to encourage renewable energy, that capacity now stands at 29,452 MW, the minister said. This means the state’s power-production capacity has increased by 475%. Earlier, there were 1.09 lakh transformers in the state; now there are 16 lakh. Even the power connection number has touched 1.56 crore.
Over the past 56 years, the govt had provided seven lakh agricultural connections in the state. In contrast, the present govt has given 1.25 lakh agriculture connections in just the last two years, Patel said. Although each agricultural connection costs the govt Rs1.50 lakh, it charges farmers only Rs 15,000, he also said, adding, that the state govt has spent Rs 1,800 crore on agriculture connections.