Power for All (24×7 PFA) is a joint initiative of Government of India and state governments with an aim to provide 24×7 power available to all households, industry, commercial businesses, public needs, any other electricity consuming entity and adequate power to agriculture farm holdings by 2019. Yesterday, Tamil Nadu signed the document and entered into official agreement with Government of India to work towards providing electricity to all by 2019. However, there is only one state which has NOT entered into the agreement with the Centre to achieve the milestone of providing ’24×7 Power For All (PFA). The state is UTTAR PRADESH – the state with the largest population of 20 crore.
“With the signing of the ’24×7 Power For All (PFA)’ roadmap document with the state (Tamil Nadu yesterday), the roadmap for all the 28 states, except one, and all the 7 Union Territories in the country have now been finalised and is under implementation,” Power Ministry said in a statement. Uttar Pradesh is the state which has not inked 24×7 PFA roadmap document with Power Ministry.
The Power ministry has said the inking of Power for all scheme is the most significant milestone in this initiative, which has its foundations on the principles of cooperative federalism. This milestone was achieved yesterday when the Power Ministry also signed the MoU for Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) with Tamil Nadu here. UDAY scheme is meant for revival of debt stressed discoms. The ministry said that providing access to reliable and quality power supply to all citizens/establishments by 2019 is at the core of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi s vision for the nation.
After looking at the balance sheets of many states with pathetic power condition, it has been found that unless the states are taken out of the debt trap which they have been since ages, all plans of 24×7 power would remain unfulfilled. The PFA program aims to make state electricity bards financially self-sustainable by various means. The PFA Program has also benefited several states in addressing funding gap for the investments required to ensure 24×7 power access to all.
While other state governments have risen above the political difference and worked towards the benefit of people, Uttar Pradesh is the only state which has not signed the Power for all – 24 x 7. The only reason behind this seems to be political. Uttar Pradesh is one of the most backward states of India with a huge population having no access to power. Even in places having access to power, the electricity supply is erratic and load-shedding of 18-20 hours in a day quite common. People of Uttar Pradesh gave 73 seats in Lok Sabha to Narendra Modi led BJP in 2014 propelling the party to an absolute majority. Narendra Modi promised 24×7 power to all in Uttar Pradesh by 2019. If state government implements the scheme, it knows that there is no stopping Modi again in 2019. But if Samajwadi party led state government ensures that uninterrupted electricity does not reach everyone, it can politicize the issue and force Modi on backfoot by saying his claims were hollow.
Unfortunately, for the short term political gains by Yadav family, 20 crore people of Uttar Pradesh, its industries (whatever exist), business, farmers and students are suffering and will continue to do so in absence of power.