New Delhi, Feb 09 :
As many as 12,033 villages out of18,452 un-electrified villages have been provided with power till last week and the remaining ones would be electrified by May 2018, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said.
The Power Minister told the Lok Sabha that 4,220 Decentralised Distributed Generation (DDG) projects costing Rs 1,354.60 crore have been sanctioned till January 2017. These projects cover 3,285 un-electrified villages in different states.
DDG comes under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) — which is meant for providing electricity access to villages and habitations.
“As reported by the states, there were 18,452 un-electrified villages in the country as on April 1, 2014. Out of these, 12,033 villages have been electrified as on February 6, 2017. Remaining villages are targeted to be electrified by May 2018,” the Minister said.
Answering to a separate question, Goyal said the government is working to reduce coal imports and reduction in it has helped in foreign exchange savings. To reduce import of coal, coal companies have been advised to improve domestic coal production. Further, to reduce import of high grade coal, Coal India Ltd has been asked to take steps for import substitution, he added.
Among others, state-owned Coal India is offering higher grade coal through various types of e-auction. “In the current year (2016-17) till December 31, 2016, indicative import substitution by Fuel Supply Agreement (FSA) holding consumers of Coal India Ltd has been to the tune of 12.8 MT,” Goyal said.