Just months ahead of the assembly elections, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Sunday launched 125 units of free electricity scheme for consumers.
Presiding over a function organised by Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Ltd here, he said the government has taken many such welfare decisions to ensure direct benefits to the common man.
He said the government recently took a decision to provide 125 units of free power that has benefitted over 14 lakh electricity consumers as they are now getting bills with zero electricity.
Thakur said the state is generating surplus electricity. It has about 24,567 MW power potential, out of which 11,138 MW has been harnessed.
The state has set a target of harnessing 10,000 MW of additional power potential by 2030, out of which about 1,500-2,000 MW would be solar power.
He said the government has changed policies from time to time to encourage project builders to invest not only in hydropower projects but also in solar, wind, etc.
Due to these efforts, the construction work of 24 hydroelectric projects has been completed in the state in the past four and a half years.
The Chief Minister said Himachal Pradesh is known as the ‘power state’ and the government has decided to provide 125 units free power to the consumers.
He said with this decision 14,62,130 of the 22,59,645 domestic consumers are now getting zero electricity bill.
He said on consumption of 125 units the consumers earlier had to pay about Rs 600. Thus by providing 125 units of free power, the government has ensured saving of about Rs 600 per month for over 14 lakh consumers.
Thakur said women constitute 50 per cent of the total population and one cannot even imagine development without active participation and overall development of the women. With this objective in mind, the government is providing 50 per cent concession in bus fare in state-run HRTC buses.
He said an additional amount of Rs 25,000 revolving fund has been provided to all women self-help groups associated with the village organisations.
The government has started Mukhyamantri Swavalamban Yojana to make women empowered and self-reliant and a subsidy up to 35 per cent is being provided to them to start their own self-employment venture, he added.