New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Power (Independent Charge) Piyush Goyal has promised uninterrupted power supply to at reasonable rates to Andhra Pradesh.
Goyal conveyed this decision to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu during a meeting with him at his office on Thursday.
"One major decision taken is that NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation), which is central government undertaking, will allow the use of their facilities, their railway track to transport adequate coal so that within the next two or three months, Andhra Pradesh will start getting an additional 500 megawatts of power at reasonable prices," said Goyal.
The central government has said it would speed up work on three railway lines key to transporting 100 million tonnes of coal per year from remote mines, a priority for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who wants to supply continuous power to all.
Coal India Ltd, the world`s No 1 coal miner that controls about 80 percent of India`s output, says better connections could push its annual production up by as much as 300 million tonnes from 462 million now.
Work on some of the railway lines started nearly a decade ago but delays with land acquisition, environmental clearance and complex relations between the states and the central government has hampered their progress.
Goyal said the government wanted to see Andhra Pradesh as a state model in terms of power and ensured all round development of the state.
"I am very happy to inform you that central government and Andhra Pradesh have agreed to work together to make it a model state for 24X7 power for every individual, every home, every industrial and commercial establishment and to simultaneously ensure that the farmers, the agricultural sector gets good quality power as required for the farming activities," added Goyal.
Prime Minister Modi is keen to provide round-the-clock power supply to the population of about 1.2 billion.
Millions still go without power.
As coal is the main source of power generation, Modi wants to reform the nationalised coal sector by bringing in private investment and possibly breaking up Coal India.