Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today ordered 18-hour power supply in villages, 20-hour at tehsil level and in Bundelkhand region besides deciding to ink a pact with the Centre to ensure electricity in all UP villages by 2019.
A meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Adityanath, the second since he assumed office last month, also decided that district headquarters will get 24-hour power supply, Power Minister Shrikant Sharma told reporters here after the three-hour-long meeting. The chief minister directed the power department to ensure that defective or burnt transformers are replaced expeditiously in rural areas so that agricultural operations do not suffer, he said. Sharma said the ambitious 'Power for All' pact will be signed by Adityanath and Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal here on April 14 to meet the Centre's target of making the state energy efficient by 2018 and help in ensuring power in all UP villages before 2019.
"It was the order of the Chief Minister that all Shaktipeeths are supplied 24-hour power during Navratris and we have been successful in it...examinations are on and students should get power during the night so that they do not have to suffer," Sharma said. The chief minister directed the officials to ensure uninterrupted supply to the villages from 6 in the evening to 6 in the morning so as to help the students prepare for exams.
"It is the dream of BJP chief Amit Shah and the Chief Minister that every house, every poor, and every village get power by 2018," Sharma said.
On former CM Akhilesh Yadav's statement that there is nothing new in providing power during Navratri and Ramnavami, he said the earlier roster system was not implemented on the ground and remained restricted to the CM's residence, Shakti Bhawan and for the VIPs. "The difference is, our VIPs are poor residing in villages. We will take action against officers if the roster is not implemented at the rural level, which was ignored ealier. The government is working for providing 24-hour power supply by October 2018," he said.
It has also been decided to change defective transformers within 48 hours not in 72 hours, the time fixed earlier, and 24 hours in urban areas.
Announcing a one-time settlement scheme, Sharma said it was decided to waive surcharge on domestic connection and take only principal amount of the bill. "For farmers having bills of over Rs 10,000 pending, they will get relief by making the payment in four instalments," he said. In a bid to end woes of potato growers, the cabinet decided to purchase 1 lakh metric tonnes of potato at Rs 487 per quintal. "Government aims at giving adequate price to potato growers. If we cannot give them profit, we want to give them price of their produce," Sharma said. For cane growers, the cabinet decided to ensure payment of their current cane dues within 14 days and old dues within 120 days. "Legal action will also be taken against sugar mills if they fail to make payments," he said.