When the Modi government took over in 2014, the power ministry inherited an ill managed, corrupt and controversial past. Piyush Goyal has faced the toughest of the challenges and got through them. In august, 2015 PM Modi set an ambitious target to electrify the 18000 villages within 1000 days and to achieve this he trusted Piyush Goyal.
The days of power shortage are over. The well planned strategies made India attain the 26th position in the World Bank’s electricity accessibility, there is a straight jump of 73 positions as it was 99th in 2014. In 2014, there were 18452 villages yet to be electrified and in 2017, the number decreased to 4441; these villages will be electrified by May, 2018.
Earlier the DISCOMS or power distribution companies losses was accounted to 67000 crore which has gone significantly down to the 37500 crore. In this regard the game changer has been the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojna (UDAY). Mr Piyush Goyal himself scripted the UDAY to turn around highly indebted state power distribution companies (these companies are the weakest link in the entire electricity value chain). UDAY is also expected to bring down the cost in the entire eco-system of power, coal, and renewable energy by about Rs. 1.8 trillion every year by 2019. This made distribution companies financially much better to an extent without stressing the consumer with tariff increases.
Piyush Goyal used technology as an enabler for citizens. Through GARV app it was possible to track the number of villages electrified till date and also the pending number too. The app not only just brought transparency to the electrification system but also provided real time data of the 12- milestone progress for electrification of the villages. Through Grameen Vidyut Abhiyantas (GVA) villages can get in touch with the engineer responsible for their electrification. The site has the detail of the engineer up to his mobile number. And through Vidyut Pravah also it was possible to see the exchange price of power and also the state wise demand had been and whether it has been met or not.
The most important part of Piyush Goyal’s plan is the stress on renewable energy. The amount of coal required to generate a unit of electricity has decreased by 8% in the last three years as rapid growth in the renewable energy has pushed the green energy share to 30% with significant contribution from wind and hydro energy generation being supplemented by fast expansion in solar power.
It can also be noted that being reachable to the citizens through Twitter or social networking platforms and showing responsiveness as a key aspect of this government, Piyush Goyal has taken governance to the next level.
Mr Piyush Goyal, a 51-year-old chartered accountant and management consultant, who also holds a bachelor’s degree in law, has removed the bottlenecks in electricity generation transmission and distribution. He has been able to change the mindset of the country from despondency to confidence. Earlier, the story was of shortage of power and coal, of a weak system, and of failing distribution companies which were perpetually in loss- a story of negativity. Today, the sector is full of optimism and positivity. Piyush Goyal has dispelled the air of negativity surrounding the power sector and replaced it with a sense of optimism by implementing reforms. Goyal’s leadership, work and vision are commendable.