Ranchi, Sept. 10: Energy minister Rajendra Prasad Singh today asked the Centre to provide more power plants to Jharkhand and sought financial assistance to complete rural electrification projects and strengthen the state’s distribution network.
Addressing a conference of state energy ministers, convened by Union minister of state for power Jyotiraditya Scindia in New Delhi today, Singh argued that Jharkhand accounted for 40 per cent of the total coal supplied to power plants across the country.
But, the state’s own power production was barely one per cent of the total power generated in the country.
“I told the Union minister that over 5,000 non-functional transformers demanded immediate replacements. Detailed project reports of remaining villages that need to be electrified under Rajeev Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana are ready. Other pending formalities, too, will be completed before the September 30 deadline,” Singh told The Telegraph.
He said he had also asked the Centre to give special attention to Jharkhand so that power companies that got coal from the state gave special concessions.
Singh, who had inked MoUs worth Rs 150 crore for setting up hydel power plants in early 2000 as energy minister of unified Bihar, demanded Rs 1,800 crore for strengthening the power distribution network, adding that Ranchi alone would require over Rs 400 crore.
He thanked the Centre for approving the North Karanpura project report and sought assistance for expansion and renovation of Patratu Thermal Power Station and Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Limited.
Singh said that the state’s aim was to generate 1,500 MW within three years. Although several private plants in the state were coming up, Jharkhand’s own generation capacity was barely 1,320 MW.
“The Union minister seemed impressed by our presentation. He also appreciated our intentions and assured us all possible help,” he claimed.