The ambitious plan for establishing the grid, which has been in the works for quite sometime, was discussed during the SAARC Energy Ministers held here last month.      

Devendra Chaudhry, who is Special Secretary in the Power Ministry, said on Friday that India and other SAARC countries are working on the grid proposal.
     
"We are working on the SAARC grid. God willing, it is going to get approved on November 26-27 during the SAARC Summit in Kathmandu," he said here.      

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a grouping of eight nations including India. Other members are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The 18th SAARC summit is scheduled to be held on November 26-27.
     
Once in place, excess production of electricity in one country of the region can be utilized to address the shortage faced elsewhere in the region.
     
About 30 percent of SAARC region's energy demands are met through imports and having a common grid would help in addressing electricity shortages.
     
Already, India imports power from Bhutan and has electricity transmission links with Bangladesh.
     
Meanwhile, Chaudhry said the government is working on various efforts, including state-specific action plans, to ensure electricity for all. Millions of households in India do not have access to power.
     
With regard to coal block allocation, Chaudhry said the government would address the issue of affordability in terms of fuel cost.
     
"With the rules getting framed as we go by, we would solve the issues in terms of addressing the twin demands affordability at least with respect to cost of fuel and the transparent process which needs to be brought to the table," he said, while speaking at a conference organized by the India Energy Forum.
     
In the wake of Supreme Court cancelling coal block allocations, the government last month came out with an ordinance to auction the coal mines through the e-route.
     
The Supreme Court in September cancelled the allotment of 204 coal mines to various companies since 1993 on the ground that they were done in an illegal manner by an 'ad-hoc and casual' approach without application of mind.

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