Sep 9 Chhattisgarh is set to become one of India's rare states with electricity connection to all its villages by 2009, the state electricity board said Tuesday.
'Presently, 18,994 villages, or 96.2 percent of the total 19,744 villages in the state have electricity facility, and we will achieve cent percent electrification latest by the end of 2009,' the state's electricity board chairman Rajib Ranjan told IANS.
He said the board was working on a strategy to electrify remote villages in the forests and hilly regions with solar power or wind generated energy as coal-fired plants are either technically or financially not viable.
Ranjan said about 18 percent of the country's coal deposits was in Chhattisgarh, and that the state would become the country's power hub by 2012 as it has separate deals with 50 power companies for setting up coal-fired thermal plants to generate 42,297 MW of power on an investment of Rs.1,900 billion.
'These proposed plants will begin generation during the 11th plan period,' he said.
The state had an average daily power demand of just 900 MW when it was carved out from Madhya Pradesh in November 2000 and 1,200 MW during peak hours.
The current average power requirement is about 1,850 MW, which rises to 2,500 MW during peak hours.
Presently, the state produces 1,923.85 MW of electricity, of which 1,786 MW is thermal power, the remaining generated by hydel projects.
Apart from the private sector, the board itself is setting up a series of power plants across the coal-rich northern region: at Korba West (500 MW), Korba South (1,000 MW), Bhaiyathan (1,320 MW), Premnagar (1,320 MW) and Marwa (1,320 MW).
Ranjan said these units would start generating power in the ongoing plan period.