Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal today said that only 4,000 of the 18,452 remaining un-electrified villages still remain and they will be electrified by May 2018 under DDUGJY – Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana.
Talking to reporters in New Delhi Goyal said that the government has set the target of electrifying every household by 2022. According to data by states, around 4.5 crore rural households still remain to be electrified.
He said that India has become a power surplus country in the last three years of NDA government at the Centre and there is no shortage of electricity or coal. The Minister talked about how the four Ministries have worked on 6 fundamental principles to achieve the goal of Ujwal Bharat. These are SULABH (Accesible Power), SASTI (Cheap Power), SWACHH (Clean Power), SUNIYOJIT (Well Planned Infrastructure; Preparing India for the Future), SUNISHCHIT (Assured Power for All) and SURAKSHIT (Empowering each Citizen of India with Transparent Governance and Securing their Future).
“The highest ever 60GW addition in conventional power, about 40 percent increase in transformation capacity, and over one-fourth increase in transmission lines since April 2014-March 2017, have made India a power surplus country, with no shortage of electricity or coal, ” the Power Minister said.
According to Goyal, these feats have been achieved because of several new initiatives take by his government. For instance, he said, all States have signed the “Power for All” agreements, highlighting Centre’s “commitment” to the principle of Cooperative Federalism. Similarly, Goyal said, “One Nation, One Grid, One Price” has been further strengthened and surplus electricity made available at affordable rates for States.
Talking about other schemes of the NDA government, Goyal said, SHAKTI (Scheme for Harnessing and Allocating Koyala Transparently in India) has become a “transformational policy” for auction and allotment of coal linkages. This will lead to affordable power, access to coal and accountability in the allocation of coal, he added.
Talking about the New and Renewable Energy, Goyal said India crossed major milestones in its mission to achieve 175 GW of renewable power by 2022 in FY 2016-17. The government introduced competitive bidding and ensured that renewable energy becomes affordable and attractive for consumers.
The Union government has set a goal of producing 100 crore tonnes of domestic coal by 2019-20. In last three years, the country achieved 9.2 crore tonne increase in coal production. Goyal said that this increase took about seven years before 2014. In 2014, he said, around two-thirds of power plants in the country were “reeling critical coal stocks” but now “there is no shortage of coal”. Net coal import also decreased in the last three years and India was able to save foreign exchange worth Rs 25,900 crores, said the Minister.
In the mining sector, the minister said that transparent auction of 24 mineral blocks will lead to estimated revenue of over Rs 1 lakh crore to the states over the lease period of the mines.