According to reports, newly appointed minister of state for power, coal and new and renewable energy Piyush Goyal on Friday announced that his ministry would replicate Gujarat government’s ‘Jyotigram Yojna’ in other states to provide 24×7 electricity to every household in the country. The ‘Jyotigram Yojna’ was started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was chief minister of Gujarat.
Goyal was in Gandhinagar along with a team of officials from his ministry to study in detail the initiatives of Gujarat government in the power sector. They had a marathon five hour meeting with the state energy minister Saurabh Patel and a battery of senior bureaucrats who shared their experiences with the central delegation.
“I have received training of highest order from colleagues of Gujarat working in the power sector who have demonstrated not only to the nation but to the world what government can do for the people,” Goyal said after the meeting with officials in Gandhinagar.
He said that this was his first hand experience and has learnt a lot on the power sector. “The officials have explained to us in detail the ‘Jyotigram Yojna’ floated by the Gujarat government and how it was a success in providing 24×7 power across the state. I will take this scheme to other states and will replicate it there in order to provide 24 hour power supply across the country,” the minister of state announced.
He however added that though the model was successful in Gujarat it cannot be said it will be good for all states. “One size does not fit all. This model of Jyotigram Yojna will have to be calibrated as per every state’s need. Lesson on cutting down T&D losses and power theft is what other states need to learn,” the minister added.
“The first task of my ministry is to have 24×7 electricity across India. We have to learn lessons from Gujarat on how to escalate power generation, cut down on transmission and distribution (T&D) losses, control the every increasing cost of power and maintain efficiency,” Goyal added. He was also of the opinion that big state like Uttar Pradesh that is facing power crises could benefit from the Gujarat model.
Jyotigram Yojana is an initiative of the Government of Gujarat to ensure availability of 24-hour three phase quality power supply to rural areas of the state and to supply power to farmers residing in scattered farm houses through feeders having specially designed transformers. Under the scheme state government separated electricity feeder lines for agricultural and nonagricultural users to make farm power rationing effective and tamper proof. By providing a continuous, reliable full-voltage power supply for restricted hours daily, the Jyotigram Yojana made it possible for farmers to keep to their irrigation schedules, conserve water, save on pump maintenance costs and use labour more efficiently.
Besides the power sector initiatives of the state, the minister of state was also appraised about quality of coal supplied to state power units and how quality of coal needs to be controlled to increase efficiency of power plants. The issue of railways for transportation of coal was also discussed. Goyal said that he has noted down the suggestions on various issues related to power sector and will study them in detail after going to Delhi.
Goyal also promised a revolution in power sector in a reasonable time period. “Given the statistics it would seem that there is not much of a gap in demand and supply of power in India. But in reality there is a big gap. Because of the state of policy paralysis that we have inherited, it will take some time to resolve the issues. I promise that in a reasonable time we will be able to bring a revolution in power sector,” the minister said.
The minister of State also met Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel and briefed her about the issues they had discussed during the meeting between state government officials and team from Centre.