CANSAULIM: Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said the state government, which lost its coal block after the Supreme Court cancelled the coal block allocation, could bid for a coal block at the next auction.
Replying to a question from reporters on the status of coal block for the state, he said the allocation of coal blocks was cancelled by the Supreme Court. The Centre would surely give Goa an opportunity, but the state government will have to make a fresh bid at the next auction.
The state, which does not generate electricity and purchase it, will not have to shell out more as the country has surplus power. Sometimes purchasing power is cheaper than actually producing it, he said.
Goyal said, “It is the endeavour of the Centre to not only provide cheap power but provide it 24×7 to every household in the country.”
The government is confident of achieving the targets set for year 2022 by the year 2019 by reaching out through grid, non-grid options, he said.
Earlier, speaking at the inaugural of fourth edition of the two-day conference of Power Ministers, he sent a strong signal to the state government to crack down on power thefts adding that the power is pilfered by “big consumers”.
The Centre has to give special attention to northeastern states which have been neglected in the past, Goyal said, adding that as stated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi India cannot develop without the development of the North-East.
He said the government is also committed to providing cheaper power to the people and hiking power tariffs is not a solution. Inefficiency in the management is the real problem in the country, Goyal stated.
He said that it is unfortunate that even now over 5.5 crore houses are not electrified with Uttar Pradesh and Bihar alone having nearly 3.5 crore households without electricity.
Nearly a crore of farmers do not have electricity to even run their pumps, the Union minister said.
The central government will also look to give a boost to the hydro and wind energy through long-term sustainable measures both in urban and rural areas.
Nearly 45 per cent of the country has urbanised and there is a need to address the problems faced by urban India, Goyal said.
Meanwhile, the Union minister launched a mobile app called URJA (Urban Jyoti Abhiyaan), which is aimed at enhancing consumer connect with the urban power distribution sector.
The mobile app will act as an important game changer in the power distribution sector as the information disseminated will empower the consumer and has potential to lead to a movement where people will seek better services from their respective distribution utilities.