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Centre to give Assam more funds for PM’s dream



GUWAHATI, June 7: The Centre has agreed to provide more funds to Assam to fulfill Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream to provide electricity to each and every household by 2019.

The Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) had earlier submitted a detailed project report to the Rural Electrification Corporation Ltd under the Union Power Ministry to provide electricity to 18.73 lakh rural households in 25,380 revenue villages and 8,817 poor urban households in 96 towns at a cost of Rs 5,100 crore.

The State had more than 24 lakh households without electricity till October 2017. Work is already underway in around five lakh households. The remaining will be covered under the Saubhagya scheme by December 2018. The deadline for completion of the scheme in the rest of the country is March 31, 2019.

“Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has instructed APDCL that under no circumstance the State should miss the December 2018 deadline. APDCL will have to leave no stone unturned to successfully meet the deadline,” a source in APDCL said, adding that the company has already commenced its work with an advance amount of Rs 42 crore.

The Sentinel recently reported that Assam is faced with an uphill task to fulfill the Prime Minister’s dream of lighting each and every household in the country with electricity by 2019 with majority of the ongoing power generation projects in the State either lying in limbo or progressing at a snail’s pace.

While Assam Power Generation Company Ltd is producing only 253 MW of power daily, the State is procuring and purchasing 1,590 MW of power daily from different sources. The demand of power during the peak hours (5pm to 10 pm) of summer is 1,820 MW. The off-peak hour (day time) demand is 1200 MW.

“The Rural Electrification Corporation Ltd under the Union Power Ministry has agreed to provide more funds to APDCL to electrify each and every household in the State. Even though APDCL has sought Rs 5,100 Crore, the corporation has initially agreed to sanction Rs 4000 Crore,” the source said.