Union minister R K Singh today said that the Centre proposes to make India the number one country in both generation and consumption of power but set no time-frame to achieve the goal. “We are the third largest country in the world vis-a-vis power generation but we are the fourth largest in power consumption. We have to achieve the goal of becoming number one country in power generation and consumption,” Singh, MoS for Power (Independent charge), told reporters here.
Singh, who is also a first time Lok Sabha member from Ara, however did not set any time-frame to achieve the goal. “Consumption (of power) is an index of development,” he said while making it clear that more power consumption shows that people are using more and more electronic gadgets and equipment.
Pegging India’s power generation at 3.3 lakh MW, Singh said that out of this, 70,000 MW is generated through renewable energy which the government intends to increase to 1.75 lakh MW.
Singh, a former union home secretary, was felicitated at the BJP’s state unit headquarters here after being made a union minister in the recent reshuffle of the Modi government. He was accompanied by Bihar BJP chief Nityanand Rai, senior party leaders Nagendra jee, Ganga Prasad, Devesh Kumar and MLAs Gyanendra Singh Gyanu, Nitin Navin, Niraj Singh and others during the press meet.
Lauding the Bihar government for doing good work in power sector, the minister said Bihar has done better than other states in carrying out rural electrification and asked officials to further expedite the works going on various projects in the state.
The government has also set a target of providing “24X7 power supply” with “no power cut” regime, Singh said while making it clear that this goal is not only confined to Bihar alone but for the entire country.
The government has already set a target of carrying out rural electrification by the end of this December, he said while asking all the states to submit list of those villages which have been left out of the rural electrification work as government is committed to complete electrification of these villages by the end of March, 2018.
The Centre has provided various funds for carrying out strengthening of distribution netwrok in Bihar, he said adding the work on various projects and schemes worth Rs 20,000 crore is already underway in the power sector.
To check power pilferage, he advocated installation of “pre-paid meters” that would do away with the problems of meter reading, distributing energy bills and revenue collection. “The collection has gone up with the installation of pre-paid meters as some states have adopted it and the Bihar government should also go for it,” he added.
Asked about the fate of 130 MW Dagmara hydel power project which is located in his area (Supaul), Singh said that the hydel project is not viable due to high capital cost. Singh hails from Supaul district of Bihar.