To Continue CM of Bihar, Nitish to Monitor Daily Power Consumption of Citizens @minofpower @nitishkumar

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Rajiv Goyal,


Electricity consumption per capita per annum is one of the indicator of growth in the states and countries. What has happened in last five years across each state in power consumption specially the states which used to be considered as laggards is an interesting one to understand mandate given by the voters in general elections concluded yesterday, 23rdMay 2019.

Politically, U.P. & Bihar plays a major role as they have 122 seats ie almost 24% which have given 102 seats to winning coalition. Per Capita electricity consumption in Bihar was 155 kWh in 1998-99 against 857 kWh of Punjab. In FY 2016-17, it rose to 272 in Bihar whereas in Punjab it was 2028 & in Gujrat 2279. In the same year, many states have reached to 1500-2000 units per annum per capita. Simple, arithmetic probably would infer that Bihar has to be industrialisedaround 8 times to become equivalent to Gujrat. In FY 17-18, it has grown to 280 kWh in Bihar.

Peak Demand of Bihar in Sep 2018 recorded as 5139 MW, an increase of 12% over previous year peak demand of 4535 MW. Electricity availability is increased to almost 22 hours per day in cities and 14-16 hrs per day in villages which is remarkable jump compared to 2012-13. Availability of electricity specially during night hours has facilitated police department to control crime in the state alongwith development projects in major cities of Patna & Gaya. However, still now Patna, the capital city consumes 4.6 BU of electricity in last year which is almost 50% of Noida city.

Bihar state election will happen in 2020 and state government has made all plans to meet peak electricity demand of 5600 MW in summer of 2019 and 6200 MW in summer of 2020. Electricity connections are provided to most of applicants in state leading to reaching consumer base to 1.5 Cr approx. It is expected that government will increase supply hours too, however, with 35-40% of losses in power distribution alone would hamper state revenues to the tune of Rs 4500-4800 Cr per annum, sufficient to obstruct welfare schemes of state.

Solution lies in best of law & order in the state, attract investment for industrialisation both from PSU and Private sector. Even if Bihar has to grant lots of subsidies to these investors in terms of free land bank, free electricity & water connection, freedom from construction approvals, relaxations in labour laws and Special Law to provide all clearances in 7 days failing which it would be deemed approval, the government must do it. In growth parameter, Bihar Chief Minister must set up the target of 2 units per capita per day electricity consumption by April 2019 and guide officers of state to plan projects accordingly.

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