Govt’s mission is 24X7, affordable, green power for all: Piyush Goyal
Power, Coal, and New & Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday that “our prime target is now to provide 24X7 affordable environment-friendly power to all, especially the poor and farmers, during this drought situation of our country”. Addressing journalists at a programme to mark two years of his taking charge of these ministries, he added, “Our stakeholders are here to serve the people. Criticism is also needed to ensure that our work is done in a transparent and systematic manner.”
According to Goyal, the stakeholders of his ministry and he will be able to complete Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘vision’ by 2019 with rapid progress. ‘Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY)’,a scheme to revive loss-making power distribution companies (discoms) with lower interest issued by the governments under their normal borrowing programme. “There were lot of apprehension were raised for UDAY, that the bond will destroy the market, but I am glad to announce that, 18 states and 1 union territory already agreed to join UDAY bond or signed agreements and it is now able to save rupees 1,80,000 annually,” Goyal said.
He also mentioned, “We are glad to announce that we could electrify over 40% (7,779) remote villages so far. In seventy years of our independence we could produce 46,543 mw electricity,” Goyal added. The Minister has categorically mentioned two important components, ‘sufficient coal availability’, and ‘sufficient hydraulic gas plant availability’. According to him, “In South Indian states, where people used to pay rupees 12 or 14 for per unit, now they are paying rupees 4 or 5 per unit because of sufficient coal and hydraulic gas plant availability.” In the last two years the country has witnessed the highest ever growth in coal production of 7.4 crore tonnes.”Though Karnataka couldn’t produce sufficient amount of hydraulic gas, as the state was badly victimised of drought situation, but still we managed,” Goyal mentioned.
“The increasing capacity of transmission lines are the biggest reason for massive reform in the power sector,” he added. The highest-ever increase in transmission lines resulted in falling energy deficit to lowest ever of 2.1% in 2015-16.
The transmission capacity in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Puducherry, has been increased from 3, 450 mw in 2013-14 to 5,900 mw till now.
The transparent coal auction system is another notable performance of Piyush Goyal. “Today the Coal Allocation Monitoring System portal is to promote transparency by giving information regarding coal price, availability, and utilization for small and medium scale consumers.
“As the country saw the big scam over the coal block allocation, we have restricted few norms for private companies,” he said. “However, both government and private organizations are free to bid through a proper norm,” Goyal categorically mentioned. The ministry has also launched Vidyut Prabha application. It provides real time information on electricity price and availability. All the state governments submit datas respectively to the centre. On that basis people get information.
With the reference of upcoming UP assembly poll, Piyush Goyal said that electricity is a major setback for the state government. “The UP government shows us zero power deficit. But I often hear people from Noida, NCR to complain about hours of power cut in a day,” he said. “State governments are accountable. The center provides its 100% but they are not serving people. Even not making their intra transmission system strong.” he firmly told.
Showing optimism on Solar Plant Projects Goyal said, “We’ve planned for 33 solar parks with capacity of 20,000 mw in 20 states. Even world’s largest solar project to be in Ananthapuram of Andhra Pradesh,” he said. To combat the drought situation Goyal said, “We are also ready to shut Power Plants to save drinking water.”