Singh told top power officials of states that the focus should be on 24×7 quality power and consumer satisfaction now that universal access has been achieved by electrifying nearly 3 crore households.
The norms issued last week for funding under the scheme asked discoms (distribution companies) to apply by October 31. The deadline for submitting DPRs (detailed project reports) would be December 31.
Under the scheme, discoms have to draw an action plan for well-defined and measurable improvements in various parameters such as reducing line losses to 12-15% within specific time frames.
These action plans have to be vetted by the Central lenders and approved by the state government before they are submitted to the Centre. Funds will be linked to delivering the milestones and states failing to meet the targets would not get any funding.
Singh said the scheme envisages extensive use of AI (artificial intelligence) and information technology for improving energy accounting and auditing for reducing losses, improving billing as well as improving quality and reliability of supply.
He also emphasised greening of agricultural feeders to support the Centre’s KUSUM scheme for farmers, envisaging solarisation of farm pumps.
Under the KUSUM scheme, farmers will get electricity from solar units at nominal rates during the day for running the pump from day one. When a farmer is not irrigating the field, the electricity is available to discoms.
Against an available sanction capacity of 9.5 lakh pumps under KUSUM, demand of 43 Lakh pumps has already been received from the States.