In a bid to ensure that every household in the state has power by November 2018, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Union power minister Piyush Goyal signed the ambitious 24×7 ‘Power for All’ agreement in Lucknow on Friday. With this, Uttar Pradesh, which was the only state in the country which had not signed the agreement, has finally come on board the central government scheme.
Addressing the media after the event, Adityanath said all below-poverty-line (BPL) households in the urban and rural areas of Uttar Pradesh would get free power connection. And smart metres would be installed in all households. He reiterated that from Friday, 18-hour power would be supplied in rural areas, 20-hour supply would be ensured at the tehsil level and in the Bundelkhand region, and all district headquarters would get 24-hour power supply; by November 2018, all the villages and households in the state would get electricity supply.
The chief minister chose Ambedkar Jayanti as the occasion to sign the ambitious 24×7 Power For All scheme of the Centre, as he said it was a tribute to Ambedkar, who stood for equality for all, irrespective of caste.
The chief minister also launched the ‘1912’ toll-free helpline for complaints. The chief minister said that apart from paying electricity bills at customer care centres, people in both rural and urban areas can pay their bills through digital means. He also said that to eliminate corruption, all government contracts would now be awarded through e-tendering.
“All the contracts will be awarded through e-tendering. This will remove the mafia and criminal elements from the contract chain, as these elements do not want transparency,” he said, adding that while earlier, damaged transformers languished for three-four months awaiting repair, now the government has instructed the energy department to ensure that damaged transformers in rural areas are repaired in 48 hour, while those in urban areas are repaired in 24 hours.
Speaking on the occasion, Union power minister Piyush Goyal said that the Centre had been trying to get Uttar
Pradesh on board the power for all scheme for three years but the previous government in the state did not agree to do so, only because it wanted the chief minister’s photo on the scheme.
“But I’m happy that in less than a month of the new government taking over in the state, it has come on board the programme, which ensures that no one will be discriminated against,” he said, adding that in reality, “achche din” are here for Uttar Pradesh.
It may be mentioned that the 24×7 Power for All scheme is a joint initiative of the central and state governments, with the objective of providing round-the-clock electricity to all households, industry, commercial businesses and any other electricity consuming entities within four years.