Nitish Kumar failed to provide electricity even after 10 years: Piyush Goyal

Patna, Oct 4: Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday alleged that Bihar had failed to generate even a single MW electricity during the decade-long rule of Nitish Kumar government as he reminded the Chief Minister of his promise three years ago not to seek votes in Assembly polls if he failed to provide power to all households by 2015.

"At the end of the Nitish Kumar government's two terms in office, the power situation in Bihar continues to remain as grim as ever as far as production and addition of generation capacity are concerned," Goyal, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy, told reporters here. [Bihar Assembly Elections: Special Coverage]

Piyush Goyal

"The power generation in Bihar through its own plants stands at zero and so is the case with generation capacity... the generation of 210 MW through coal-based plants and 114 MW from renewable sources in Bihar is part of joint venture projects," he said.

"Nitish Kumar had promised three years ago that he will not seek votes next time if fails to provide electricity to all households in Bihar. What has happened? Has he provided electricity to all households? The answer is no," the senior BJP leader said.

Further charging the government with making false claims about improvement in electricity situation, Goyal claimed that the state government had misled the people as the entire supply of power at over 2800 MW in the state was taking place from the central pool and related resources.

Quoting a survey report by an independent agency, Goyal said Bihar had been the worst performing states among the eastern region with only 20 per cent rural households using electricity as the primary sources for lighting.

The state government had claimed to have electrified 29,000 villages for which it might have set up poles in panchayats and installed transformers, but there had been no no supply of power for consumption by the people, he added.

He said that under the 11th plan (2007-2012) the Centre had sanctioned Rs 2994 crore for intensive electrification in Bihar of which only 38 per cent fund at Rs 1132 crore was used by the state government and only 25 per cent villages were electrified at 3316 against 12,828 villages and the coverage of households stood at 11 per cent at 3.38 lakh dwellings against the target of 30 lakh.

The Union minister alleged there was no improvement in the state government's performance in the 12th plan either as the Centre sanctioned Rs 5270 crore to Biahr for electrification of 21,833 villages of which only 380 were electrified which amounted to two per cent of the target.

Goyal further alleged that against a target of electrification of 54 lakh households during the plan period, only 32,672 households could be electrified at even less than one per cent of the target with half of the duration of 12th plan already gone.

Goyal promised, according to the party's vision document for Bihar, that if elected to power the BJP-led coalition will ensure 24x7 electricity supply in all households in the state by 2019 and said that his party had great track record to deliver on its promises.

He said that keeping in view Bihar's need for generation of additional power to meet requirement of all households, farmers and industries among others, the Centre had committed to provide Rs 6000 crore under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's special package to Bihar for overall electrification of the state, an additional Rs 4400 crore for separate feeders for farmers, Rs 1244 crore as additional funds for electrification of households of weaker sections and Rs 2000 crore for infrastructure.

Among additional measures, the Centre has allocated coal blocks for power projects in Bihar and decided to allocate 50 per cent power to be generated from the proposed Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) in the state to meet domestic requirement, the union minister said, adding that his ministry had alloted a separate coal block for the thermal power plant at Barh to cut the price of power from there for consumers in Bihar.


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