6,000 unelectrified villages provided with power: Govt

New Delhi, Mar 5: Electrification has been done in 6,000 of the 18,500 unelectrified villages and the renewable energy capacity has reached 39.5 Giga Watts, a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was told.

At the two-and-a-half hour meeting to review the progress of key infrastructure sectors here yesterday, Modi also took stock of the progress in 'Housing-for-All' programme and directed officials concerned to expedite its implementation, using a judicious mix of modern technology and local building materials and techniques.

'6,000 villages provided with power'

Sectors like power, coal, housing, ports and Digital India were reviewed in the meeting.

The meeting was also informed of the progress in providing mobile connectivity to villages affected by Left Wing Extremism where 1,371 towers have so far been installed, a PMO statement said today. "The Prime Minister was informed that the progress of electrification of all unelectrified villages is proceeding at a rapid pace," the statement said.

Out of the approximately 18,500 unelectrified villages targeted under the Prime Minister's rural electrification programme, about 6,000 have already been electrified, the meeting was told. The Prime Minister was informed that the progress of the initiative is being tracked in real-time using sophisticated technology applications, including geo-tagging, it said.

With regard to renewable energy, Modi was told that significant progress has been achieved towards the target of 175 Giga-Watts (GW) capacity by 2022, with the total installed renewable energy capacity already reaching 39.5 GW.

"Officials explained that off-grid solutions such as solar panels are being used to reach remote and inaccessible areas in states such as Arunachal Pradesh," the statement said.

The progress in distribution of LED bulbs across the country was also reviewed. Coal India Limited has achieved a 9.2 per cent increase in production this year, as compared to an average of just 3 per cent growth over the last 5 years, the statement said.

The Prime Minister called for immediate measures to scale up the speed of providing broadband connectivity to all Gram Panchayats. He was informed that 12 important tourist locations have been provided public Wi-Fi connectivity when he inquired about the progress in this area.

Reviewing the ports sector, the Prime Minister instructed officials to work urgently on improving the average vessel turnaround time at major ports, in order to bring it in line with international standards.

Drastic reduction in the timeliness for border compliance and measures for boosting coastal shipping within the country, were also discussed, the statement added.


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