“100 per cent power connectivity for all”
Stating that the government’s aim is to provide electricity for all citizens irrespective of Below Poverty Line (BPL) or Above Poverty Line (APL) criterion, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said that the states are free to use any data they want to implement the rural electrification projects. “During our deliberations, our Power Secretary raised the issue of BPL data, which according to him is not updated... I have taken a decision that states are free to take into account any data they want to implement the rural electrification programme. Do not discriminate between citizens. Our aim is to provide electricity to all. Don’t restrict yourself to BPL or APL. Once electricity reaches a village, electricity should reach all houses. We had calculated Rs 3000 average cost in BPL families. You take an average cost for the rest as well and whatever amount will be required, you can use the funds from our schemes. If you need more funds to provide electricity to all rural houses, then Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) will provide long-term finance to states at a lower rate of interest so that states can achieve 100 per cent household connectivity in villages,” he said.
“Every smart city will have smart rly stations”
Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu said that each of the 100 smart cities will have smart railway stations. By 2019, India’s first green corridor will be ready and trains of which will have bio-toilets, he said. The 114-km-long Manamadurai–Rameswaram stretch of Southern Railway was India’s first‘Green corridor ’ in June 2016.
“Focus now on hydro, wind”
The Power Minister said that the government has decided to remove roadblocks in the path of the wind and hydropower sectors after having focussed on solar.