Rajasthan farmers will get seven-hour power supply a day: Minister
Jaipur: Farmers in Rajasthan will get six to seven hours electricity daily from tomorrow and the state government has granted an additional Rs 300 crore fund for the purpose, newly appointed Energy Minister Gajendra Singh Khinvsar said on Monday.
"Presently, farmers are supplied electricity for around five hours in a day, and arrangements are being made to extend it to at least seven hours. Timings of supply will be adjusted according to the farmers` need," he told reporters here.
Besides this short-term initiative, Khinvasar said his department would start working on a long-term plan to reduce electricity transmission and distribution losses, and to improve financial condition of power distribution companies.
He said his government`s priority was to provide power supply round the clock to all households in the state.
"Over 20-hour supply of power is currently being provided to 22,000 to 25,000 out of the 49,000 villages. We plan to reach out to the rest of the villages," Khinvsar said at his first press conference after taking charge.
"This will take time, but we will start working on it," he said.
The previous BJP government had set up several power plants but could not even get to inaugurate any of them because of the change of government in 2008, and the Congress government accrued the benefits.
"Our government left office (in 2008) with losses of power companies at Rs 15,000 crore, but it has increased to Rs 71,000 crore during the Congress government," he said.
The minister said the government planned to reduce the losses primarily by a more efficient system of transmission and distribution. "This is really a herculean task but all possible efforts will be made to address the matter," he said.
When asked, the minister expressed no need to increase power tariff. "Domestic power tariff is already high and if any hike is made by regulators, the government would consider bearing the burden by providing subsidy," he said.
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