The Centre is committed to ensuring electricity supply to all in Odisha within 18 months where about 50 lakh households remain unelectrified, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal said.
Odisha's Energy Minister Pranab Prakash Das said, however, it is 25 lakh households and not 50 lakh that remained unelectrified in the state. "There is some mismatch in the figure of the union minister."
Goyal said: "It is sad that about 50 lakh households in the state are unelectrified even after so many years of Independence. The Prime Minister has announced that people across the country will get quality power round the clock."
The Centre is committed to ensuring electricity supply to all in the state within one-and-a-half-year, he added.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government was targeting to achieve 24X7 power supply across the country by 2022, noting that electricity was key for effective implementation of Digital India programme aimed at empowering the common man and ensuring transparency.
Goyal told reporters that steps are also being taken for providing electricity connection to 25,000 hamlets in the state.
Central schemes like Deen Dayal Upadhayaya Gram Jyoti Yojana and Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) would ensure power for all, Goyal said, adding that the state government was supportive of rural electrification works.
However, he expressed concern over the high rate of transmission and distribution loss, about 38 per cent, in the state.
Goyal also said only 2 per cent of electricity is consumed for the agricultural purpose in the state. "Separate feeders need to be in place for farmers," he said.
Meanwhile, on "non-completion" of rural electrification works so far, Das said that CPSUs like NTPCand Powergrid Corporation (PGCIL) did not meet the deadline and therefore people in rural areas could not get power.
On the coal sector, Goyal said: "Odisha will earn over Rs 45,000 crore from coal block auction which the state government can use for the betterment of the state. Along with this, the state will also get all forms of assistance from the Centre for the overall development of the Eastern India".
Referring to doctors' shortage in Odisha, he said the Centre plans to set up eight medical colleges in coming days.
Of these, three will be developed by the Central PSUs while five others will get 75 per cent funding from the central government. CPSUs like Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL), NTPC and SAIL in Rourkela will set up three medical college hospitals, he said.
Goyal also announced that MCL and NTPC will ensure health service including free medical check-ups for all the freedom fighters.