Chief minister Naveen Patnaik today stunned all with his announcement to provide power to all people in Odisha by October 2 next year. This contradicts the chief minister’s earlier target of meeting power for all by March 2019.
Observers feel the possibility of an earlier poll as discussed towards the end of 2018 might have goaded Patnaik to realign his populist goals. More announcements can be in the offing where beneficiary schemes implementation may be pushed ahead of the earlier timelines to give the ruling BJD an edge in electoral politics.
While reviewing the status of rural electrification in Odisha, Patnaik gave clear directions to officials to meet the target. Odisha has made significant strides in deepening rural electrification. But, the focus is more on coverage of some 22,000 villages that are only partially electrified. Such villages are mostly concentrated in the districts of Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Koraput, Bolangir, Kandhamal and Gajapati. Likewise, arrangements would be made on a war footing to make electricity available for 28 lakh villages. To ensure that all villages in Odisha are electrified by October 2, 2018, the state chief secretary as well as all district collectors would appraise the situation every month.