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On Saturday, Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Bihar energy minister announced that an agreement was signed to power tourist destinations in Bihar with solar energy. This includes Rajgir, Bodh Gaya and parts of Patna.
He spoke at an event to mark the grand finale of the weeklong ‘Ujwal Bharat’, Ujwal Bhavishya–Bijli Mahotsav. This function was held in conjunction with Azadi Ka Amarit Mahotsav which took place here on Saturday.
This was the culmination of weeklong Bijli mahotsav, which were held throughout the country by the Union ministry of power.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed participants and beneficiaries from more than 100 districts throughout the country via virtual mode. This included the districts of Patna and Bhojpur in Bihar, Nalanda and Supaul districts, and Muzaffarpur.
Yadav, stated that “We are also making steps to increase our ability for generation of renewable energy.” A new agreement was signed to provide solar energy for tourist destinations like Bodh Gaya and Rajgir. A solar power plant of 200-250 MW capacity would also be built at Kajra in Lakhisarai and Pirpainty in Bhagalpur.
Chairman-cum-managing director of Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited (BSPHCL), Sanjeev Hans, said “Bihar is the first state to install smart prepaid meter. Bihar has so far installed over 8 lakh smart pre-paid meters. It has now begun its installation in five rural districts of north Bihar. A huge amount of money has been invested to build a robust infrastructure. There are steps being taken to decrease our dependence on coal-based power stations.
He stated that Bihar would be able to generate enough power because the plant being built at Chausa, Buxar by SJVN Ltd will be complete by 2023-24. He said that Bihar would receive 85% of the power from this unit.
Yadav reflected on the achievements in the energy sector in Bihar. He stated that Bihar used 700MW electricity in 2005. This has increased to 6627MW. The per capita power consumption in 2005-2006 was 70 units (KWh). It now stands at 350 units (KWh). In 2005, the average power supply in rural areas was only 5-6 hours. It is now 18-22 hours. In 2005, the average power supply in urban areas was 10-12 hours. It is now 22-24 hours.