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Rural electrification programme on track: Government

IANS | New Delhi |

With over 13,000 of the total 18,452 villages electrified, the rural electrification programme is on track for completion within the targeted time-frame, the government said on 9 May.

Over 22 lakh rural BPL (Below Poverty Line) households were electrified in 2016-17, and over 40 crore LED bulbs were distributed in the same period, officials told Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a review meeting of key infrastructure sectors.

The total inter-regional transmission capacity has been significantly enhanced with 41 gigawatts transmission capacity being added from May 2014 to April 2017, they said.

A government statement said that the Prime Minister emphasised on prioritising manufacturing of solar equipment even as he was told that the total renewable generation capacity has crossed 57 gigawatts, with an increase of 24.5 per cent being registered in the last fiscal year. 

"Solar and wind tariffs have now achieved grid parity with rates well below 4 rupees per kilowatt-hour," the statement said.

Modi also called for establishment of some model solar cities, where the power requirement is fulfilled solely by solar energy. 

A similar effort can be made to make certain localities kerosene-free, he added. 

During the meeting to review progress in petroleum and natural gas, power, renewable energy and housing sectors, the Prime Minister was also informed that over 32 lakh houses have been completed in rural areas in the last fiscal.

Modi directed that future reviews should focus on problems at the district-level, so that the progress of poorly performing districts can be better monitored, the government statement said.