August 19, 2017

Addressed Media at a Press Meet in Mysuru

As you might have read, the government is working on providing a roadmap how we can promote electric vehicles and ramp up the electric vehicles in the country, so that by 2030, not a single vehicle is manufactured in India which is not an electric vehicle. And in this, India will lead the world rather than follow the world.  So, earlier every programme, India used to do ….. what the rest of the world will do, in electric vehicles India will be one of the first to provide it so actively.

And we are fortunate that the first electric vehicle manufacturing facility is in your state of Karnataka, the Reva vehicles, Mahindra and Mahindra. They are wanting to promote it and ramp it up and recently, 4-5 days back, EESL, the same company who launched the LED bulbs has launched a tender for 10,000 electric vehicles, so that we can start by replacing all the government vehicles in Delhi.

By the way, just to finish the thing, the Vidyut Pravah app shows that right now, it is 11.22 am in my watch, right now the power is available for Karnataka to buy at Rs 3.06, only Rs 3.06, and power purchase cost of all of South India has fallen after the Modi government came in. There was a time Karnataka used to buy power at Rs 10 and Rs 11, if any of you has been following the power story earlier. That has come down, this is a peak hour. You will appreciate, morning 9-12 is a peak hour, at Rs 3 you can get power right now. And sufficient power is available on the exchange.


Q: Sir, why Karnataka government always puts the blame on vendor?
A: Because they have no other excuse to give for their failures. They are more busy making money, which then gets caught in income tax raids than in serving the people of Karnataka with better quality of continuous power.

Q: Sir you are promoting electric vehicles, what about hybrid… ………………?
A: We want to focus on 100% electric vehicles. I myself own and have purchased a hybrid vehicle. The improvement is very nominal, so instead of X, I may get 1.5X mileage on that car. Why should India go for intermediate technologies. India should go for the best, what is most modern, and therefore, we are going for 100% electric vehicles. That’s the future of the world.

Q: About automobile industry, ………. How has the response been from automobile industry?
A: Except one or two companies, everybody else has unanimously supported and promoted 100% electric vehicles. I don’t know if that one or two companies who are situated in Karnataka and are running that campaign. So, let me specify there was two companies who are trying to particularly promote hybrid and one of which I have a car also, are doing it because they do not have electric cars. So, for their commercial interest they want India to go for a backward technology or for a intermediate technology.

We believe we should give the people of India the best electric vehicles, save 100% petrol and diesel imports. India’s import dependency will come down, our rupee will become stronger. Our current account deficit can disappear; pollution will disappear, all this pollution we have in these cities, because electric cars will not have any pollution. The city pollution will fall drastically. We will use renewable energy to power these cars, so it will be an end-to-end solution to bring down pollution and address the adverse impact of climate change.

(Inaudible)…. Other projects where the Karnataka government often picks up projects, which are initiated and supported by the central government, rebrands them as a state government project and tries to market it that they have given a benefit. They have tried to do the same thing with the Ujala LED programme also where despite the fact that the central government was giving the full supply or support, they tried to brand it as a local scheme, what was the name? They tried to call it a Hosa Belaku scheme and even had one of their congress leaders as a brand ambassador of that.

But I think the people of Karnataka understand that schemes of the central government where the central government is primarily trying to take benefit to the people of Karnataka. And under Ujala, we have sold over 25 crore bulbs in about 2 and a half years, 25 crore bulbs. And the price of the bulb has come down to nearly one-fifth what it was during the congress regime. What the congress government used to buy at Rs 310, plus taxes and other costs, and sell only 6 lakh bulbs up to 2013-14. The Modi government in barely two and a half years instead of 6 lakhs in one year has sold 25 crore bulbs in two and a half years.

Look at the scale of growth! And our procurement price has fallen from Rs 310 plus taxes and other cost interests and all that to only Rs 40. So, reduction of nearly 87%! And against a 7W bulb, now we are giving a 9W bulb, so more lumination. Look at the size and scale of the programme and the speed with which we are turning the entire country into LED bulbs and LED lighting, which will save the consumers of India 40,000 crores of electricity bills and will also reduce the pollution significantly, because nearly 11000 crore units of electricity less will be required in the country, will reduce the electric consumption by 11000 crores, that much less pollution. Particularly, a city like Mysore which is so beautiful, so pristine, so clean; you will appreciate the importance of reducing pollution.

Similarly, when laying optic fibre cable in 2014, the country had laid only 358 kilometres of optic fibre cable. You will be happy to know, in barely 3 years, from 2014 to 2017, we have been able to scale up this programme to lay optic fibre cable, and from 358 kilometres, it is today 2,02,000 kilometres. Nearly 358 kilometres is now 2,02,000 kilometres! That is the growth of nearly 700 times in only 3 years. 700 times!

That is the way projects are executed, that is why I say when we take a Sankalp, when we take a pledge to do a programme, to serve the people; we do it with speed, we do it at scale, we do it skilfully and that is siddhi that is accomplishment. ……


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