Panaji, Sep 23 Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has stressed on the need for agricultural revolution in the country by providing electricity at low rates to farmers from pithead power plants.
"We need to start an agricultural revolution in India by providing cheap electricity to farmers from pithead power plants and urea produced using domestically available Coal Bed Methane (CBM) or coal gasification. Expensive urea imports from China would not be required," Gadkari said last evening.
The Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister was addressing the 17th Regulators and Policymakers Retreat organised by The Independent Power Producers Association of India in South Goa.
"Innovation in water management, including de-silting of rivers, using innovative check dams for micro-irrigation rather than big hydro projects, are required," he said.
On the viability of power sector, Gadkari said, "How can coal prices vary without power prices correspondingly varying? The power sector would not survive."
"In the past, state governments have given too much importance on increasing the generation capacity without giving due importance to transmission and distribution segments in the power sector," the minister said.
"With the advancements of new technology and innovations, significant growth is expected in the Indian power sector and the agriculture sector will be one of the beneficiaries of such growth," he said. The need is to focus on agriculture sector and provide electricity 24/7 to rural areas at low prices, he added.
Expressing confidence in the government's plan to revolutionise the agriculture and irrigation sectors, he noted that some laws regarding environment and forests create hindrance in economic development. The conference that began yesterday is based on the theme 'India Meeting the Aspirations?' The event looks at the aspirations of young Indians keeping in mind the ways of improving their living standards by benchmarking it with the western narrative of development.
Participating in the event through video conferencing, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu explained how the country is undergoing massive transformation in power sector through a pro-active approach and better policies and regulations. He said, "Rickshaw, taxi and train to be integrated in scheme for multi-modal transport."
Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal, in a pre-recorded message, said the UDAY scheme is the most significant step taken to remove financial constraints in the distribution segment and will bring efficiency in the workings of the state electricity distribution companies.