Palakkad becomes India's first fully electrified district

Palakkad Total ElectrificationPalakkad district on 16-02-2010 became the first fully electrified district in the country. Announcing this, Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said that the government was working on a target of bringing electricity to all villages in the next two years. He said that the Centre would sanction a sum of Rs 14 crore under the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification scheme to the 13 districts in the state which had not availed of funds in the state.

The minister said that only Idukki district had availed of funds eligible under the scheme. The Centre had earmarked a sum of Rs 5,000 crore to provide electricity in rural areas in 2004.

The aim was to provide electricity in 1,15,000 villages in the country.

Already, 68,000 households have been electrified in the country. The Centre was providing 90 percent subsidy for the scheme.

The remaining villages will be completed by 2012.

Rural electrification

The minister said that it was proposed to provide electricity in all villages of the country by 2012. He said that in the VIII, IX and X plan together only 56,000 mw of power was generated. It is planned to increase it to 78,000 mw in the XI fiveyear plan. Already 21,000 mw have been produced in the XIth plan and there was another two more years to go.

Power manufacturing equipment

India would achieve self-reliance in producing power generation equipment in one-and-a-half years. The equipment and ancillaries like turbines were now mostly being produced by public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd.

More companies had entered the sector in recent times, he said. One of them is Larsen and Toubro in association with Mitsubishi, the second was a joint venture between Alsthom and Bharat Forge, the third a joint venture between JSW steel and Toshiba and the fourth one is Ansaldo—GB Engineering.

APDRP scheme


Shinde said that under the restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (APDRP), 43 towns were to be benefited from a total project cost of Rs 214 crore. The loan component of Rs 64.31 crore has been distributed and Palakkad will be eligible for Rs 4.78 crore.

The minister said that the transmission and distribution losses were to be brought down from 37 percent currently to 15 percent in the country.

In Kerala , the transmission and distribution losses was just 18.5 per cent.

Electricity Minister A K Balan who presided over the meet urged the Power Ministry to provide necessary assistance in sanctioning a coal field at Baitarani in Orissa so that it could complete and generate power from the 1,000 mw thermal power plant being set up there.

He also demanded that clearance might be given for the 163 mw Athirapally power project since the state was largely dependant on hydel power.

The minister said that the Palakkad model would be extended to other parts in the state to achieve the goal of total electrification within few years.

Among those who spoke included Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy, Local Self-Government Minister Paloli Mohammed Kutty, Revenue Minister K P Rajendran, Devaswom Minister Kadanappally Ramachandran, Works Minister P J Joseph, MPs M B Rajesh and P K Biju and MLAs C P Mohammed, V Chenthamarakshan, Saleekha and M Chandran, district panchayat president Subaida Ishaaq and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests T M Manoharan.

KSEB chairman Rajeev Sadanandan who presented the report sais that the KSEB had spent a sum of Rs 25 crore to bring power to all households in the district and Rs 525 crore for providing the necessary infrastructure facilities.

Ottappalam MLA M Hamza welcomed the gathering.

Source - Indian Express 17 Febryary 2010

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