LIGHT FOR ALL
* Bamboo & wooden electric poles to disappear
GUWAHATI, July 11: Not a single home will be left in darkness and electricity will lit all 64 lakh households in Assam by December 31 this year.
Making this announcement during a press conference held at Assam Administrative Staff College at Khanapara here on Wednesday, Power Minister Topon Kumar Gogoi said no stone is being left unturned to fulfill Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious scheme of providing electricity to all households in the State. He said 41 lakh out of 64 lakh households in the State have already been electrified and the rest 23 lakh will be covered under the Prime Minister’s scheme by December 31 this year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year launched an Rs 16,320-crore scheme — Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana ‘Saubhagya’ — to provide electricity connections to over 4 crore families in rural and urban areas by December 2018.
“Among 23 lakh households to be electrified by December 31 majority of them fall in tea gardens and villages. The Power department has mobilized all its resources to overcome all odds including floods and other natural calamities to meet the target,” Gogoi said.
Gogoi while addressing his maiden press conference as the Power Minister also announced a slew of measures to improve power scenario in the State as well to follow the Centre’s directive to ensure round-the-clock power supply to consumers. He said his department has earmarked Rs 25 crore to convert all bamboo and wooden electric poles into concrete ones in the phased manner to prevent electricity losses and untoward incidents. The Minister said the department has also earmarked Rs 3284.04 crore to convert power lines stretching 60,000 km into cable covered lines for durability, safety, and prevention of transmission and distribution losses.
Introducing uniform for all field level workers of Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL), Gogoi said the APDCL will strengthen its workforce to further improve its services to consumers. He said the APDCL will appoint youths in 3500 new permanent jobs soon which include posts of office-cum-field level assistants, assistant account officers, engineers and sahayaks (assistants).
Gogoi said youths who are interested to work with the APDCL can register themselves online by paying a certain amount of registration fees. He said the registration fees amount will determine the monetary worth of contracts to be given to different youths. For example, those registering themselves by paying Rs 5000 will get contracts worth Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.
The Minister said there is an urgent need to create massive awareness across the State, especially in rural areas to prevent theft of electricity.