Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy, and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal, while presiding over the launch of ‘URJA MITRA App’ and inauguration of the ‘Rural Feeder Monitoring Scheme’ here today, said that the Government is engaged in preparing the Nation to truly get 24x7 affordable, quality and uninterrupted adequate power.
Shri Goyal noted that “Power today, comes from information sharing and not by withholding it. URJA MITRA empowers citizens by real time information sharing on power supply.” He further added that the app is a first of its kind application which provides a central platform, Web-Portal (www.urjamitra.com) as well as Mobile App (iOS version and android version), for State Power Distribution utilities to disseminate power outage information to urban/rural power consumers across India through SMS/email/push notifications. Nevertheless, Shri Goyal directed the Ministry officials to strive harder and ensure that progressively the need to send messages for power outages should decline to zero, thereby ensuring uninterrupted 24x7 power for all.
The Minister also informed that power consumers across the nation would have prior intimation of expected duration and cause of scheduled power outages and post fault intimation of unscheduled power outages duration. Consumer can also view real time power outages in any part of the country, lodge a complaint on power outages in its area. Complaints can also be lodged on helpline number 1912. Empowerment of all section of society has been ensured by providing vernacular mobile apps. Field staff can trigger power outage and take corrective action on outage complaints etc, he added.
Commenting on the utility of Urja Mitra App, Shri Goyal said that this will be the life changing for millions of people in this country. “I would like to urge all the states to join in this excellent initiative to be a part of this effort so that anywhere in the country, if there is a problem of power outage, the people know about it in advance and present scenario. It will help save many lives in hospitals, help people better plan their lives like study schedules, daily household chores etc.”, the minister added.
Speaking on the Rural Feeder Monitoring Scheme, Shri Goyal informed that the Government has launched ‘Rural Feeder Monitoring Scheme’ to monitor the quantity and quality parameters of power supply in rural areas of the country. The entire data shall also be hosted on National Power Portal (NPP) on real time basis and may be accessed by various stake holders through web services. The Minister informed that the Government has set December 2017 as the deadline to achieve 100% rural feeder monitoring by installing additional meters and modems on all feeders across the country, in order to facilitate real time communication of faults appearing in the power supply. Further, these meters would be geo-tagged to pin point the cause and location of the fault and address it at the earliest, he added.
Shri Goyal also announced that on 14th April 2017, birth anniversary of Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, Uttar Pradesh will be executing ‘Power for All’ document with the Government of India. Uttar Pradesh will become the last state to join ‘Power for All’ initiative, he added.
Interacting with the audience, Shri P.K. Pujari, Secretary, Ministry of Power, said that the app is a milestone and it will bring pressure on the system to improve itself. It is a proactive Citizen-Government Connect that will bring in transparency, accountability in the power supply system in the country. Shri Pujari said that already 8 crore consumers have joined on the Urja Mitra app which have resulted in their empowerment. It is expected that all power consumers in the country to make use of the app and get empowered, he added.
Addressing the gathering, Shri Arun Kumar Verma, Joint Secretary, Power, said that approximately seventy percent of the population resides in rural India. In order to ensure quality of life in rural India, it is of paramount importance to improve the quality and availability of power supply as it has direct relation with quality of life and socio economic upliftment of all sections of society. In order to get a complete picture of the entire power distribution network in rural part of the country, it is essential to capture real time power supply parameters of rural India.
Also present on the occasion were Smt. Shalini Prasad, Additional Secretary, Power, Shri Ajay Jain, Principal Secretary (Energy), Government of Andhra Pradesh, Shri R.K. Verma, Chairperson, CEA and other senior officials of the Ministry and State Power Departments of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
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