New Delhi: Government will meet its target of electrifying 18,452 villages by March next year, much ahead of the May 2018 deadline as over a third of the task has been completed already, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said.
“During the last 11 months we have already electrified 6,029 unelectrified villages under our mission of energising 18,452 villages. We will complete the target by March 31, 2017, much ahead of the set deadline of May 2018,” Goyal said at a function here.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech last year announced the initiative to electrify these 18,452 villages in 1,000 days – by May 2018.
Earlier, Goyal had said that the electrification of over 7,000 villages will be completed by March end this year. The minister also informed that Manipur and Tripura have evinced interest in joining UDAY scheme meant for revival of power distribution companies.
The scheme was launched last year for revival of discoms, which have an accumulated debt of over Rs 4.37 lakh crore. As many as six states — Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, have already singed legally binding agreements to join the scheme so far. Punjab will become the seventh state to ink the pact to formally join UDAY tomorrow.
On this occasion, Goyal urged to the representatives from the developed countries and other nations that the United Nations Sustainable Development goal of providing energy to all by 2030 should be expedited as the societies cannot wait for 15 long years for this.
He also urged them to support the renewable energy so that the objective of maximising clean energy generation can be achieved in the backdrop of India losing a WTO litigation in solar energy case.
India will go in appeal against the WTO’s panel ruling which has stated that the country’s power purchase agreements with solar firms were “inconsistent” with international norms.
The rulings of the WTO’s dispute settlement panel can be challenged in the WTO’s Appellate body. Goyal also said: “When I took charge on May 26, 2014, I could have imposed anti-dumping duty on solar equipment imports as our domestic producers had won the case at Commerce and Industry Ministry level (Directorate General of Anti-Dumping & Allied Duties).”
India has set an ambitious target of 175 GW of capacity addition from renewable energy sources including 100 GW of solar.