With over Rs.4000 Crores of work to be taken up in Odisha in rural electrification sector in next two years, P V Ramesh Babu, Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) of Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (RECL) has promised the State Government to extend all out support in this regard.
Dr.Babu held discussion with the Top Brass of the State Administration and discussed issues at length, while reviewing the progress of Rural Electrification program taken up in the State.
He met the Chief Secretary A P Padhi, Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan, Secretary, Energy,CMD GRIDCO & OPTCL, Hemant Sharma and appreciated the efforts of the State Government over performance in Rural Electrification.
While in the country 6000 villages have been covered last year, 1100 villages are electrified in Odisha, which is a massive job done by the authorities in Department of Energy.
Earlier Dr.Babu called on the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on 19 April, where the CMD was urged for inclusion of SECC 2011 beneficiaries along with BPL 1997 beneficiaries for providing free household electricity connection.
This was told that it is essential to achieve the target of Power for All by 2019. In spite of the fact that that the Committee constituted by Ministry of Power, Government of India has already submitted its recommendation in this regard, the decision is still awaited, said sources.
Any further delay will hamper the achievement of household electrification target, pointed out Minister Energy, Pranab Prakash Das.
Hemant Sharma, Secretary Energy revealed that release of funds by RECL for RGGVY as well as DDUGJY in fiscal 2016-17 has been quite prompt and is well appreciated by the Government of Odisha. It was suggested that this supportive attitude of RECL for release of funds should continue in 20917-18, officials said.
It has been pointed out that it is seen in several District Rural Electrification Projects, the sanctioned amount is much less than the award cost leading to reduction of scope of work particularly in Partially Electrified (PE) Villages.
State Government urged RECL CMD to take up the matter with Ministry of Power for sanction of additional funds in same proportion of Central and State share as provided in original scheme (90:10 for RGGVY and 60:40 for DDUGJY).
State Government brought to the notice of RECL Chief that there is a significant skill gap in the power distribution sector. RECL is needed to support setting up of skill development centers in Odisha for electrician, lineman, operator and such other trades.
This can be done in association with State Government Public Sector Undertakings, as well as Public Private Participation (PPP) Mode with leading Private Sector Skill Development Institutes in the State.
Dr.Babu immediately agreed for such a proposal and RECL can effectively use its CSR Budget for the purpose, pointed out a senior official in Department of Energy.