New Delhi: Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal said that the government had electrified 1,364 villages in Uttar Pradesh under the rural electrification programme in the last two years while launching the Pilot Project of district vidyut abhiyantas (electrical engineers) for the State at Lucknow on 12 April.
Goyal said that after becoming the minister, he was surprised to find the status of rural electrification in Uttar Pradesh where only 3 villages were electrified in the period 2012-2014. He further added that rural electrification had been picked up by constant efforts, fixing accountability of officials and promoting transparency. The central minister further stated that he was aiming to provide electricity to each and every household in the state before 2019.
As a part of the pilot project, the minister appointed 5 DVAs at the event. Speaking on the occasion, he said that the DVAs would strengthen the working of the district electricity committee and thus speed up the electrification process in the country. Goyal said that these committees would hold the dual responsibility of monitoring the power projects at the district level and acting as a bridge between the government and people through DVAs. He further stated that the Union government would soon increase the strength of the gram vidyut abhiyantas (electrical engineers posted in villages) to approximately 1,000 from the present number of 309 for timely and smooth completion of the rural electrification programme under the Deen Dayal Upadhayaya Gram Jyoti Yojna (DDUGJY).
Stressing the need for transparency in government projects, the minister urged the media to monitor the ongoing rural electrification process monthly on a real-time basis on the GARV mobile application and highlight, if any, deficiencies are found in the system. Goyal assured that the Centre will provide full support to the state government in their efforts to ensure 100 per cent electrification of villages for the benefit of common man.
Goyal also highlighted the features of the recently launched mobile application Vidyut Pravah and said that this would enable the people to question the State government on the power scenario by providing real-time information such as availability of power, shortages (if any) and the cost of power on the exchange.
Answering the questions from the media, Goyal said that the central government had sanctioned the highest amount of Rs 6,946 crore to the Uttar Pradesh government under the DDUGJY and Rs 5,651 crore under the Integrated Power Development Scheme. Under UDAY, the State would be benefited by Rs 33,000 crore in the next 3 years. Goyal assured the people that the Centre was ready to provide as much power as required by Uttar Pradesh. The central government has approved a few projects recently from which 85% power will be given to Uttar Pradesh, Goyal added.