24x7 Power for All by March 2019
24x7 Power for All by March 2019

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar Singh, says the Union Government’s Vision is that 24x7 power is a fundamental rght of every citizen of the country and all States will have to ensure that by March 2019.  

The work of bringing power to India’s nearly 6 lakh villages had been undertaken under the government’s Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana. As per government data, 1,236 villages are uninhabited and 35 have been notified as grazing reserves.

The government has set the next target of providing electricity connections to over 4 crore rural and urban households by March 2019 under the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) initiative.

India is on course to add 40 million new consumers by December 2018 and expects economic growth of 8 to 9% in the next 5 years, power demand would increase manifold. Government of India is providing funds to the States under ongoing Central Government schemes of over Rs 85,000 crore, for strengthening their power infrastructure.

It is observed that some States are not able to bill the consumers effectively and are losing about 50% of the expected recoveries. Manipur has been able to reduce its losses by over 50% by installing prepaid meters in all its urban areas. 

In the renewable energy sector, India has pledged to achieve 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022 and 40% of installed power capacity from renewable energy by 2030 as an action plan to fight climate change. To help the poor power consumers, the government is pushing for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of subsidy in power sector.

This would make the industry more competitive and the burden of excessively high tariffs will be taken away from the consumers. The total installed capacity as on March 31, 2018 in the country is 3,44,002 MW. The shares in this of State, Central and private sectors are 24.6%, 30.2% and 45.2% respectively. India’s peak demand for power is expected to rise from the current level of 153 GW to about 690 GW by 2035-36, according to the Perspective Transmission Plan of the Draft National Electricity Plan prepared by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).