Clear power dues: PM Modi urges states

Published By : Admin | July 30, 2022 | 12:31 IST
Participates in Grand Finale marking the culmination of the ‘Ujjwal Bharat Ujjwal Bhavishya – Power @2047’ programme
PM dedicates and lays the foundation stone of various green energy projects of NTPC worth over Rs 5200 crore
PM also launches the National Solar rooftop portal
“The strength of the energy sector is also important for Ease of Doing Business as well as for Ease of Living”
“Projects launched today will strengthen India’s renewable energy goals, commitment and aspirations of its green mobility”
“Ladakh will be the first place in the country with fuel cell electric vehicles”
“In the last 8 years, about 1,70,000 MW of electricity generation capacity has been added in the country”
“In politics, people should have the courage, to tell the truth, but we see that some states try to avoid it”
“About 2.5 lakh crore rupees of power generation and distribution companies are trapped”
“Health of the electricity sector is not a matter of politics”

My Cabinet colleagues, respected Chief Ministers of various states, all other dignitaries associated with the power and energy sector, ladies and gentlemen!

Today's programme is a symbol of new goals and new successes of the New India of the 21st century. During this 'Azadi Ka AmritKaal', India has started working on its vision for the next 25 years. Energy sector and power sector have a huge role to play in accelerating India's progress in the next 25 years. The strength of the energy sector is also important for Ease of Doing Business and equally important for Ease of Living. We all have seen the kind of change electricity has brought in the lives of the beneficiaries I have just spoken to.


The projects worth thousands of crores of rupees which have been either launched or their foundation stones have been laid today are an important step towards India's energy security and green future. These projects are going to reinforce our goals for renewable energy, our commitment to green technology and our aspirations for green mobility. These projects will also create a large number of green jobs in the country. Even though these projects are related to Telangana, Kerala, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Ladakh, its benefits are going to reach across the country.


There has been an intensive discussion in the past years about running the country's vehicles as well as kitchens using Hydrogen gas. Today India has taken a major step towards the same. The work on two major projects of Green Hydrogen in Ladakh and Gujarat, is starting from today. The plant being set up in Ladakh will produce green hydrogen for vehicles in the country. This will be the first project in the country which will enable the commercial use of green hydrogen-based transport. That is, Ladakh will be the first place in the country where fuel cell electric vehicles will start running very soon. It will also help in making Ladakh a carbon neutral zone.


For the first time in the country, the project of blending Green Hydrogen with Piped Natural Gas has also started in Gujarat. So far we have been blending ethanol in petrol and aviation fuel, but now we are also moving towards blending green hydrogen with piped natural gas. This will reduce foreign dependence on natural gas and the money that used to go out of the country will be used in the country itself.


The condition of the country's power sector 8 years ago is well known to all the veterans present in this programme. In our country, there was a problem with the grid. Grids used to fail, power generation was decreasing, power cuts were rising and the distribution was in turmoil. Under such circumstances, 8 years ago, we took the initiative to transform every part of the country's power sector.

Four different aspects were worked upon together to improve the power system - Generation, Transmission, Distribution and most importantly Connection. You also know how all these are related to each other. If there is no generation, the transmission-distribution system will not be strong. In that case, giving a connection will be of no use. Therefore, we have put all our efforts in order to generate maximum power, for effective distribution of electricity across the country, for modernization of the old network connected with transmission and for providing electricity connections to crores of households of the country.

As a result of these efforts today, not only is the electricity reaching every household in the country, but electricity is now available for longer hours. In the last 8 years, about 1 lakh 70 thousand MW of electricity generation capacity has been added in the country. One Nation One Power Grid has become the strength of the country today. About 1 lakh 70 thousand circuit kilometres of transmission lines have been laid to connect the entire country. We are also reaching the target of saturation by giving about 3 crore electricity connections under Saubhagya Yojana.


In order to ensure that our power sector is efficient, effective and electricity is accessible to the general public, necessary reforms are being made continuously over the years. The new Power Reform Scheme which has been started today is yet another step taken in this direction. Under this, arrangements like smart metering will also be made to reduce power loss, which will increase efficiency. The complaints related to electricity consumption will end. Necessary financial assistance will also be provided to DISCOMS across the country so that they can build modern infrastructure and make necessary reforms to empower themselves financially. So, the power of DISCOMS will increase and the public will be able to get enough power. Consequently, our power sector will be further strengthened.


To strengthen its energy security, the way India is emphasizing on renewable energy today is unprecedented. We had resolved to create a capacity of 175 GW of renewable energy till the completion of 75 years of independence. Today we have come close to this goal. So far, about 170 GW capacity has been installed from non-fossil sources. Today, India is among the top 4 or 5 countries of the world in terms of installed solar capacity. Today India has several of the world's largest solar power plants. In line with this, the country has got two more major solar plants today. These plants built in Telangana and Kerala are the first and second largest floating solar plants in the country respectively. Green energy will be produced by them. At the same time, the water which used to evaporate as a vapour due to the heat of the sun, will also stop evaporating. The work on the construction of 1000 MW single location solar power plant in Rajasthan has also begun from today. I am sure, these projects will become a symbol of India's self-reliance in terms of energy.


In order to meet its energy needs, India is also emphasizing on installing solar panels in more and more homes besides setting up large solar plants. A national portal has also been started today so that people can easily install roof-top solar projects. This will help both in generating electricity at homes and earning with electricity generation.

Besides increasing the production of electricity, the emphasis of the government is also on saving electricity. Always remember that saving electricity means securing the future. PM Kusum Yojana is a great example of the same. We are providing ‘solar pump facility’ to the farmers, helping them to install solar panels on the borders of the fields. And due to this, the food provider is also becoming the energy provider. The expenditure of the farmer has come down and the farmer has got an additional means of earning as well. UJALA Yojana has also played a major role in reducing the electricity bill of the common man of the country. Due to LED bulbs in homes, more than 50 thousand crore rupees are being saved in the electricity bill of the poor and middle class every year. Saving 50 thousand crore rupees is a big advantage for families.


Honourable Chief Ministers and other representatives of the various states are involved in this programme. On this occasion I want to share a very serious matter and my major concern with you. And this concern is so serious that a Prime Minister of India had to express this concern in his speech from the ramparts of Red Fort on 15th August. With the passage of time a serious degeneration has engulfed politics. In politics, one should have the courage to tell the truth to the public, but we see that in some states there is an attempt to avoid it. This strategy may seem like good politics in the short term. But in reality, it is the postponement of the truth of today and the challenges of today that can hamper the tomorrow and destroy the future of our children and the future generations. Instead of finding a solution to the problem today, they avoid the problems by imagining that someone else will think over it and solve it. They think that the person after them will do it. They are anyway going to leave after five years or ten years. This mindset is not good for the country. Due to this very mindset, today the power sector is in big trouble in many states of the country. And when the power sector of a state is weak, it also affects the power sector of the whole country and pushes the future of that state towards darkness.

You also are aware of the fact that the losses of our distribution sector are in double digits. Whereas in the developed countries of the world, it is either in single digit or very negligible. This means that we have a lot of wastage of electricity and therefore we have to generate more electricity than we need to meet the demand of electricity.

Now the question is - why the necessary investment is not done in the states to reduce the losses during distribution and transmission? The answer is that most of the power companies have a severe shortage of funds. This is also the case with government companies. In this situation, years-old transmission lines are being used. So, the loss increases and the public gets expensive electricity. Statistics reveal that the power companies are generating enough power but still do not have the necessary funds. And most of these companies belong to the governments. You are all familiar with this bitter truth. On very rare occasions, the distribution companies get their money on time. There are huge dues and arrears on the part of state governments. The country will be surprised to know that bills of more than Rs 1 lakh crore are still pending in different states. They need to give this money to the power generation companies. They need to take electricity from them, but they are not giving the money. Government departments and local bodies owe more than 60 thousand crore rupees to many power distribution companies. And the challenge doesn't end there. These companies are not able to get even promised subsidy money fully and on time. These dues amount to more than 75 thousand crore rupees. That is, about 2.5 lakh crore rupees of those responsible for the generation of electricity and doing door-to-door delivery has not yet been received by them. In such a situation, will investment be made on infrastructure and for the future needs? Are we forcing the country and the future generation of the country to live in darkness?


This money belongs to some government companies and some private companies. If they do not get it, then the companies will neither develop, nor will there be new generation of electricity and their needs will not be met. That's why we have to understand the gravity of the situation. If we set up a power plant, then electricity starts getting generated after five-six years. It takes 5-6 years to set up a plant. That is why I request all the countrymen with folded hands for the bright future of the country that there is a need to create awareness. Our country shouldn't plunge into darkness. And that's why I say that it is not a question of politics but a question of national policy and nation building. It is the question of security of the entire system related to electricity. The states whose dues are pending, I request them to clear these dues as soon as possible. Also, consider this honestly that even when the countrymen are paying their electricity bills sincerely, why do some states still have arrears again and again? The need of the hour is to find a proper solution to this challenge by all the states of the country.


For the rapid development of the country, it is very important to ensure that the infrastructure of the power and energy sector is always strong and modern. We can also imagine the situation that if this sector had not been improved with the efforts of everyone in the last eight years, then various troubles would have arisen today. There would be frequent blackouts; be it a city or a village, electricity would be available only for a few hours; farmers would yearn for irrigating their fields and factories would come to a standstill. Today the citizens of the country want facilities. Things like charging of mobile phones have become a necessity for a person just like food, clothing and housing. Had the power situation been the same as before, nothing would have changed. Therefore, strengthening the power sector should be everyone's resolve and responsibility. And everyone should fulfil this duty. We must remember that if we fulfill our obligations, only then our resolutions of the 'Amritkaal' will be fulfilled.

Even if a villager has ghee, oil, flour, grains, spices, vegetables etc, but if there is no gas or any arrangement to cook, then the whole house will be hungry. Isn't it? Will the car run without energy? Just as people would stay hungry if there is no arrangement to cook, similarly everything will come to a standstill if there is no electricity in the country.

And that's why today with utmost seriousness, I request the countrymen and all the state governments to move away from the path of politics and start walking on the path of national policies. Together, we will work from today to ensure that the country never has to plunge into darkness in future because it takes years to accomplish this task.


I congratulate all the people from the Energy world for such a grand event and for creating such a great awareness about electricity in every nook and corner of the country. Once again I congratulate all the people for these new projects. I wish all the stakeholders in the power sector the very best. I wish you all the very best for a bright future ahead.

Thanks a lot !

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