Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (IC) for Coal, Power and New and Renewable Energy has urged the State Government to expedite the Rural Electrification work in a time bound manner and the work should be qualitative. He asked the power utilities of the state to be more quality conscious and review the progress of electrification work on weekly basis. He stressed on installing high standard transformers in rural areas for uninterrupted power supply. Reviewing the progress of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana( DDGJY) in Odisha, Shri Goyal has said that, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has fixed a time line to electrify all the un-electrified villages in the country in 1000-days. The Odisha government officials have informed Shri Goyal that, they have targeted to complete the electrification work by June 2016 in the state. It was learnt from the review meeting that, the consumer base in Odisha has touched to 58 lakh households till March 2015. Another 35 lakh consumers will be added in the next 3 to 4 years. So keeping this in mind, the state government should undertake system strengthening in a time bound manner, said Shri Goyal.
Goyal has advised the state government to explore the opportunity of linking Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Accounts with consumers billing. He has assured the state government to provide all necessary funds and assistance under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana for strengthening power infrastructure, feeder separation and modernization of transformers in rural areas. He said total upgradation of power system is highly needed for reducing transmission and distribution loss in the state. The Minister has urged the Odisha government to focus more on Solar Power particularly LED lighting system to save energy bill. While being present in the review meeting, the Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan had urged the state power utilities to reduce drastically the transmission and distribution loss to a basic minimum level which is as high as 38% in the state. Shri Pradhan has asked the state energy department to launch a pilot project for digitized payment of electricity bills which can be a test case for the state as well as entire country under Digital India Initiative.
During the review meeting, Shri Goyal has stressed on timely completion of power projects being promoted by Independent Power Producers in the state. He also asked Mahanadi Coalfield Ltd. to expedite the doubling of railway lines in coal belt areas of the state for better evacuation of coal to power plants. Even merry-go-round transportation corridors should be completed expeditiously. Shri Goyal also discussed on coal linkage to proposed Gajamara Plant being promoted by NTPC. The Union Minister has reviewed the coal, power, new and renewable energy sector development in the state with the state Energy Minister Shri Pranab Prakash Das and high ranking officials of Centre and State Government, NTPC, MCL and Power Utilities of the State. During the review meeting, a power point presentation on the development of energy sector in Odisha was made before Shri Goyal.