Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Saturday the government was planning to provide each village in India with 24-hour electricity through a national network of roads, power transmission, power and water grids.
“Electricity is produced and supplied, but the task of saving it is also important. Saving electricity is equal to service to the nation and the youth must take lead in it,” Modi said while dedicating the 765 KV Solapur-Raichur transmission lines and the four-laned Pune-Solapur section of national highway-9 here.
He called upon the youth to help control the monthly electricity consumption bills by discussing with their families ways and means to reduce power consumption.
“Let us take a pledge to save electricity. It will help our families. It should be considered as a national duty. Generating power is expensive, but saving it can be easily done and we can make a big difference,” Modi exhorted the youth.
He referred to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan’s concerns over the state power plants staying idle due to coal and gas shortage.
“I can understand the problem. As the chief minister of Gujarat, I said the same thing, but nobody paid attention,” he said.
However, Modi assured that now it was his government’s responsibility to overcome the shortage of fuel for the power plants.
“We shall do all we can to ensure sufficient fuel for power plants. By using innovative technology, I think coal can be extracted without harming the environment and ensure that power reaches the remotest corners,” Modi said.
He said the Centre recently granted permission to increase the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river which would help Maharashtra get Rs.4 billion worth of power for free from there annually.
Discussing the roads and highways infrastructure, Modi assured that it would be taken up on priority under the guidance of the Golden Quadrilateral Project and the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana initiated by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“Road development is connected to all sectors, helps increase employment and boost tourism. The nation wants highways and I-ways (information-ways), so each village must be integrated,” Modi urged.
The prime minister also laid the foundation stone for four-laning a 100-km-long stretch of the national highway-9 traversing through the Maharashtra-Karnataka border.
It will be constructed by Srei Infrastructures in two years at a cost of Rs.8.86 billion, on design, built, finance, operate and transfer basis.
The national highway-9, linking Pune-Hyderabad-Vijayawada-Machilipatnam, is a major East-West corridor connecting the four states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.