New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that the process to provide services that use renewable energy and clean sources of fuel to the population will be undertaken on a massive scale and rapidly, rather than incrementally, which has been the case for most of the time since Independence.
Delivering his Independence Day speech from the historic Red Fort in the capital, Modi promised to ensure that public services will be delivered to the last man in the remotest village through focused schemes. The idea is achieve goals that seem to be impossible, the Prime Minister said.
The government is committed to improving household access to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders, electrifying all remaining villages, building transmission lines and in adding renewable energy generation capacity as quickly as had been done in its last two years in office, added Modi.
LPG usage is being scaled up to reduce kerosene consumption, lower health risks of the rural population and prevent diversion of kerosene for diesel adulteration.
The government has set a target of distributing 10 crore LPG connections to people, out of which 5 crore will be distributed to poor women, without any upfront payment, under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana (PMUY) launched on 1 May. In the first two months of the scheme itself, 12.8 lakh LPG connections were given. Modi said his government’s track record of LPG distribution was way better than what has been achieved in the past—14 crore connections till 2014.
The government is in the process of electrifying 18,452 villages identified last year to ensure that every village has access to power by 2018. Of these, 10,000 villages have already been electrified under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana. Providing power will reduce kerosene consumption for lighting.
Increasing renewable energy consumption in the country is a key element of Modi’s climate change plan. The target is to have 100 gigawatt (GW) of solar capacity by 2022, twice the present output of China, the world leader in solar power generation. India at present has 6.7 GW of solar power capacity. The solar power capacity addition in 2015-16 was over 3 GW.
“This is not an incremental growth, this is a leap,” said Modi. Also, coal stock is now available with thermal power stations for months and power transmission lines are added at a great pace, the prime minister said.
Modi also urged people to use efficient LEDs in place of conventional bulbs so that energy savings will bring financial gain and help in protecting the environment. “LED bulbs used to be sold in the country for Rs.350 a unit. Now we are able to distribute the same bulb for Rs.50. So far we have distributed 13 crore LED bulbs and 77 crore more will be sold, which will help the country save 20,000 mega watt of power,” said Modi. The government is also popularizing solar pumps for agriculture use in order to save energy.