States resolved to provide 24x7 power for all by March 2019: Piyush Goyal

All the states have resolved to provide 24x7 power for all by March 2019 or earlier in their respective states, this was decided at a meeting of state power ministers chaired by union minister fr power, coal and renewable energy, Piyush Goyal.

Further all states, except Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected, have also resolved to electrify all remaining unelectrified villages by 31 December 2016 and states will award contracts in the next 30 days for this work.

Announcing this at a press conference at the state power ministers conference, Goyal said the states also agreed to provide 100 per cent power to all households in 18,452 villages in the country in a mission mode by 1 May 2017. The participating states also resolved to ensure that operational and financial milestones in the MOU for UDAY would also be implemented.

In a landmark decision all states resolved to procure henceforth only smart meters which are tamper proof and communication enabled. The minister said the cost of these smart meters has been brought down by 60 per cent from Rs8,000 to Rs3,223 as a result of central procurement and the endeavor is to go for only such meters in the future for 250 million consumers in the country.

The minister also announced that one 4-digit all India number 1912 has been started for consumer complaints across the country. Sharing the outcome of the two-day meeting, he said it was a successful fruitful dialogue over two days and everyone worked in service of the poor and farmers in a cooperative and collaborative manner demonstrating the strength of our democracy. Goyal said the meeting disproved the notion that different political interests cannot bring about commonality of a purpose.

The meeting also discussed hydro power policy and sought to work out ways of reviving small (25 MW or less) stalled hydro projects with cooperation from the states to provide new thrust to the hydro sector. He said a committee for this has been set up which will submit its recommendations by 30 September 2016.