Stringent measures to provide power to farmers, poor: Shinde

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Mumbai, Dec 16 (UNI) Union Minister of Power Sushilkumar Shinde assured that stringent measures will be adopted to provide electric power supply to the poorer sections of society and farmers.

Mr Shinde gave the assurance while he was speaking at a function to lay the foundation stone for 400/220 kv Navi Mumbai Gas Insulated Substation and associated transmission line of Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd at village Tembode, near Panvel, Navi Mumbai, yesterday.

The Regulatory Commission has increased its panal rate of unauthorised electricity used by some states, from Rs 7 per unit to Rs 12 per unit as strict measure to assure the power grid discipline, he said.

Mr Shinde also dedicated a similar capacity substation of Power grid Corporation at Boisar near Thane district. The substation directly connects Tarapur Atomic Power Project Units III and IV and the grid at Padaghe. The substation at Tembode will be interconnected with the grid at Lonikand and Kalwa. The substation is expected to be completed by 2010-11 at a cost of Rs 430 crores.

The Union Government has chalked out policies regarding the national grid and asked the states to fulfil their mandate of providing people with necessary electricity through meticulous planning so that in next four to five years electricity will be available on demand anywhere in India, Mr Shinde said.

During the last three five-year plans India has added 54,000 MW power to its total generation of power but the present government has planned for 80 thousand MW during the present five year plan.

Of this 6000 MW has already been added during the very first year of the plan he informed.

The Minister also said that 50 thousand villages have been provided with electricity under the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Programme so far. An additional of 14 thousand villages having population of more than 100 more than 100 each have been identified for the benefit of electricity, he said. The entire target of 1,34,000 villages will be met before 2009-10, he added.

Speaking about the shortages of electricity the Minister clarified that the direct responsibility in this regard lies with respective state. Speaking specifically about Maharashtra he said that the State was selling electricity to neighbouring states up to 1990-91 but during the preceding 10 years the state did not add much to its power generation. ''We need to introspect deeply on this'' he said. The Power Ministry has now decided that power substations and grid connectivity will be established well in advance of the upcoming power stations, he informed.

UNI

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