Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday laid foundation stones and launched work of power projects worth Rs 3,241 crore on the occasion of 103rd 'Bihar Diwas' and asserted that the state government was "determined" to improve the power scenario in the state.
He also unveiled electricity projects worth Rs 106 crore, spread across the state, saying that all the schemes launched and inaugurated today were meant to improve the electricity transmission system.
Speaking on the occasion, Kumar said, "We have taken a pledge to improve power scenario in the state, and we are working continuously to fulfil it. Electricity is being supplied to wherever the distribution system has reached".
"Urban areas are getting electricity for 22 to 24 hours, while rural areas are getting power supply for 16 to 20 hours," he said.
The chief minister added that he had announced the determination of the state government about providing electricity across the state on August 15, 2012, and work is continuously going on for it.
Kumar pointed out that when he took charge as chief minister in 2005, there were just 45 grid sub-stations in Bihar, while there was no network to provide electricity.
"At that time, the length of transmission lines was just 5,033 kilometres, which could supply just 1,000 MW. We were even unable to use whatever electricity we were given by the Centre. The number of electrified villages was just 12,565 and power was available for only 10 to 12 hours," he said.
Kumar added that the state government paid much attention on the energy sector and work on every aspect of power, right from generation to transmission and distribution was done.
"Today Bihar has got 50 per cent share in 660 MW Barh
thermal power plant extension project. A new unit of 500 MW is being established by the state government at Barauni. Three units of 660 MW each is being constructed at Nabinagar in Aurangabad district, while power plants of 1320 X 2 MW each will come up at Chausa (Buxar), Pripainti (Bhagalpur) and Kajra (Lakhisarai)," he said.
"Our capacity has increased from 1,000 MW to 4,200 MW and it will go up to 5,000 MW by the year end. Power grids have been established in all sub-divisions and sub-stations at block level," he added.
Kumar said there was a need to focus on maintenance also, including changing burnt transformers within 72 hours in rural areas and 24 hours in urban areas. The faults should be corrected on time.
"We must pay attention to the interests of consumers. They should get correct electricity bills because they have to run from pillar to post if the bill is incorrect. The possibilities of electricity theft should be checked with the use of modern technology. Efficiency should be brought in work," he added.
Bihar Energy Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Social Welfare Minister Lesi Singh and several other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.