Minister for Welfare of Scheduled and Backward Communities and Electricity A.K. Balan said in the Assembly on Thursday that electricity connections would be available on demand by the end of this financial year.
The Minister was replying to the demands for grants for welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes and Power.
Mr. Balan said that service connections would be given immediately to all who had applied for connections till the end of last month. In cases requiring electric posts, applications received up to March 31 would be cleared. Priority would be given to households having children studying for the SSLC examinations.
He said all Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe applicants seeking single phase domestic connections would be given connections without any limit regarding connected load. Others seeking connections with load not exceeding 1,000 Watts too could get connections without opting for own your electric connection scheme. In case of households without a house number, connections would be given on the basis of panchayat resolutions.
The Minister announced that e-payment system for paying electricity bills would be in place by the end of this year. It would also be possible for consumers to make payments at any of the billing sections in the State.
Mr. Balan said the total electrification scheme would cover 100 Assembly constituencies by the end of March next year. An amount of Rs.15 crore would be allocated from the normal development fund of the Kerala State Electricity Board for the electrification of tribal colonies. A Rs.240-crore scheme would be carried out for the computerisation of power distribution networks in municipalities. Small hydel projects would be commissioned this year at Poozhithode, Ranni and Perinad.
He said nearly 20 MW would be generated by setting up solar power stations. Another 20 MW would be generated through biomass gasifier projects. Guidelines would be finalised shortly for developing wind farms on revenue land. Hydel tourism would be expanded in Munnar and Banasurasagar.
As part of green budging and energy efficiency programmes, energy credits worth Rs.50 crore would be given to pupils who save electricity. They could use the credits for buying books or other items from the outlets of Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation.
A Centre of Excellence would be set up at Kuzhalmannom in Palakkad district for research on sustainable energy sources. A model residential polytechnic would also be started at Kuzhalmannom.