From no power generation in 2005 to generating 2650 MW by 2018, Bihar is set to achieve remarkable success on the energy front to realise the dream of ‘power to every household’ within the next two years.
Announcing this in the Bihar legislative assembly on Tuesday, energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav said two new units (2x250 MW) of the Barauni Thermal Power Station (BTPS) and the Kanti Bijli Utpadan Nigam Limited (2x195 MW) would commence generation by April, 2017. In addition, three units (3x660 MW) of Nabinagar thermal power plant would also commence generation from September 2017, March 2018 and September 2018, respectively.
He said the state government was working to improve generation, distribution and transmission. From having just 268 power substations in 2005, their number would go up to 774 this year and to 792 by 2018.
BJP leader Arun Kumar Sinha moved the cut motion and said the Bihar government was way behind its target of providing electricity to all households and even the state capital was unable to get 24x7 power supply. He also raised the issue of losses of power holding companies.
Yadav said it was a challenge to ensure power to all, but the state government had accepted it despite cut in Central allocation for rural electrification and, that too, without increasing power tariff, which was among the lowest.
The energy minister reminded BJP leaders of the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appreciated electrification work in Bihar during his Hajipur visit in March 2016.
Yadav said Bihar was purchasing power to meet its requirements and it did not come free. “In fact, we have to pay more, as we do not get full allocation and have to purchase power from the market. The Indian power system for planning and operational purposes is divided into five regional grids and the eastern region, comprising Bihar, has the highest tariff . If there is uniform tariff, Bihar will save Rs 200 crore annually,” he added.
The minister also heaped praises on former PM Manmohan Singh and former Union minister Sushil Kumar Shinde for understanding Bihar’s needs. “Under the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana, which has reduced Central share from the earlier 90% to 60%, a state like Bihar has to bear additional financial burden. The scheme has provision for dedicated agriculture feeder, rural electrification and power sub stations,” he signed off.
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