The Government of India has often stressed on its commitment to provide round-the-clock, affordable and eco-friendly ‘Power for All’ by 2019. Two years before the deadline, it’s apt to ask: Are they on track, or is the deadline likely to be pushed, or even never met? There’s now a ‘report card’, in part, from which you can make your judgement.
In his written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today (23 March), Power minister Piyush Goyal has described measures taken by the government towards meeting this ambitious goal. Here’s a summary of the key points:
- As of 20 March this year, 12,661 of 18,452 un-electrified villages have been electrified.
- 24x7 ‘Power for All’ documents have been signed with 35 states/union territories.
- Two schemes, Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) for rural areas and Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) for urban areas, have been launched, which provide for, among other things, strengthening sub-transmission and distribution infrastructure and electrification of rural areas.
- Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) has been launched for operational and financial turnaround of Discoms. (Swarajya has written recently on the successes of the UDAY programme.)
- Electricity generation has increased from 967 Billion Unit (BU) in 2013-14 to 1048 BU in 2014-15 and 1107 BU in 2015-16. This, according to the minister’s reply, has resulted in the lowest-ever energy deficit of 2.1 per cent in 2015-16. Until February this year, electricity generation has been 1057.746 BU.
- Measures have been initiated for reducing the generation cost of coal-based power projects:
(a) Increasing supply of domestic coal
(b) Coal usage flexibility
(c) Rationalisation of coal linkages
- Transmission capacity to South India has risen by 87 per cent, from 3,450 MW in April 2014 to 6450 MW in February 2017.
- Street Lighting National Programme is being implemented to replace 1.4 crore conventional street lights by LED street lights. This will save 9 billion kWh per year by March 2019. So far over 18.3 lakh LED street lights have been replaced.
- Green Energy Corridor for transmission of renewable energy is up for implementation.
Read the full press release here.
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