Himachal govt counters AAP: Offers free electricity

Mounting a strong counter-attack on the Aam Aadmi Party’s election sop of free electricity the BJP-led Himachal Pradesh government has promised 125 units of free electricity per month to over 14 lakh voters of the State. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the function organized by the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Ltd. to launch the Scheme, ‘125 Units of Free Electricity’ to the consumers of the State held at the Paddal ground at Mandi on Sunday said, “The state government has taken many such welfare decisions during the tenure of the present government to ensure direct benefits to the common people.” The Chief Minister said that the state government recently took a decision that 125 units of free power would be provided to the people of the State which has benefitted over 14 lakh electricity consumers of the State as they were now getting zero electricity bills.

Thakur said that the state generates surplus electricity and it has about 24,567 MW power potential, out of which 11,138 MW stands harnessed.
“The State has set a target of harnessing 10,000 MW of additional power potential by the year 2030, out of which about 1500 to 2000 MW would be solar power,” he said. Himachal CM further said that the state government had changed policies from time to time to encourage project builders to invest not only in hydropower projects but also in solar, wind and hybrid cum pumped storage. “Due to these efforts of the State Government, construction work of 24 hydroelectric projects has been completed in the state during this tenure,” he added.
The Chief Minister said that the State of Himachal Pradesh was known as the ‘Power State’ and the State Government felt that the electricity consumers should get some benefit from this distinction of the State.

“The State Government thus decided to provide 125 units of free power to the consumers. With this decision of the State Government, out of total 22,59,645 domestic consumers of the state, over 14,62,130 consumers were now getting zero Electricity bill,” said CM Thakur.
He said that on the consumption of 125 units of power, the consumers earlier had to pay about Rs 600. “Thus providing 125 units free power, the State Government has ensured saving of about Rs 600 per month for over 14 lakh consumers,” he added.
Highlighting the benefit given by the present government to women in the state, Thakur said, “The women constitute fifty per cent of our total population and one cannot even imagine development without active participation and overall development of the women. With this objective in mind, the present State Government was providing 50 per cent concession in bus fare in HRTC buses.”
He said that an additional amount of Rs 25,000 revolving fund has been provided to all the women’s self-help groups associated with the village organization.

“The Government has started Mukhyamantri Swavalamban Yojana to make women empowered and self-reliant and subsidy upto 35 per cent was being provided to them to start their own self-employment venture,” he said. The Chief Minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi shares a special bonding and benevolence with the people of the State.


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