Assam awarded The Economic Times Trophy 2015 for remarkable improvement in power sector
NEW DELHI, Feb 24: Assam has been awarded The Economic Times Trophy 2015 for remarkable improvement in the power sector.
Assam has been awarded the trophy for electrification of 8,348 villages and partial electrification of 12,841 villages and for registering a rise in consumer base from 9.02 lakh in 2001 to 34 lakh in 2015, a press release said.
Receiving the award from Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State with independent charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy at The Economic Times Power Focus 3rd Annual Summit at Le Meridien Hotel here late yesterday evening, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said, “Some say that no development has taken place in Assam during the last 15 years. Today this award stands as a testimony that peace has returned and Assam is on the path of development.”
Gogoi said that his Government had to grapple with insurgency, economic backwardness and unemployment problem and catapulted the State to the path of growth and development. “We hear these days about who is a tiolist and who an anti-tiolist. But I had to encounter insurgency vis-à-vis secessionism for long 15 years and to grapple with many problems,” he added.
Raising the peculiar problems of the State, Gogoi said that Assam and the North East Region as a whole has to be viewed in different perspectives unlike other parts of the country and need special attention to come on a par with developed states of the country. “The sense of alietion that prevails can be removed only through better understanding of the problems and complexities of Assam and the rest of the North Eastern States. The region as a whole requires special funds to catch up with developed States like Gujarat and Maharashtra,” he added.
Lamenting the discrimitory attitude of the Modi-led Government at the Centre, Gogoi said the withdrawal of the Special Category Status and changing the funding pattern from the earlier 90:10 have only helped to widen the regiol disparity.
Harping on cooperative federalism, Gogoi said that Modi’s dreams of acche din can become a reality only if it becomes the dreams of a common man. Underscoring the need for building trust and confidence between the Centre and the States, Gogoi said, “Building trust is important for things to happen. The 12th South Asian Games in Guwahati was a resounding success because everyone right from the Chief Minister to the Chief Secretary down to the sweeper worked in tandem.”
Alluding to the Prime Minister, Gogoi said, “Nobody is super human. You have to involve people at every level to realize dreams. No one can work alone to bring acche din. One may be intelligent and sincere but they are not enough to emerge successful. I feel Modi doesn’t completely trust the people working with him, maybe, not even all of his ministers.”
Laying emphasis on clean energy in the backdrop of climate change, Gogoi said that power must be harnessed through renewable energies like hydro, solar and wind.
Harping on smart villages, the Chief Minister said that industrialization would automatically follow suit if the income of rural areas increase. “Highest amount of investments should be made on agriculture and allied sector as our country is basically agrarian. This will bring about improvement in the condition of our villages,” he added.
Following a plea by the Power Minister, Gogoi said that the State would enter into an agreement with the Central Government and other stakeholders for launching Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yoj (UDAY).
Speaking on the occasion, Goyal said the Centre has completed the electrification work in nearly one-third of 18,452 unelectrified villages. “The power sector is the fulcrum of India’s growth and ensuring a better quality of life to the people has been the vision of Prime Minister,” he added.
“Prime Minister rendra Modi had announced in his Independence Day speech last year that all 18,452 unelectrified villages will get electricity within 1,000 days. We have decided to provide power to 18,452 villages within 730 days,” he said.
“We have electrified 5,026 villages. Electrification of 898 villages is in progress while 1,415 villages are under energisation. Today, one-third of the overall task of electrifying 18,452 villages has been achieved,” Goyal said adding that the task of the Government is to provide electricity to every household.
Goyal said the Government has transformed the country’s coal scerio in a short span and not a single thermal power plant is now facing shortage of the fuel. “At present, the thermal power plants in the country have 25 days of coal stock. Besides, the coal pit-heads have so much of stock that these power plants can run for 40 days without any problem,” he added.
Minister of State for Urban Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Babul Supriyo said the remarkable 9.8 per cent coal production growth has cut down coal imports and helped in the growth of the country’s economy.