Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention for establishment an oil refinery in the State, power production in the ambitious projects taken up recently and allotment of long-term coal linkages and gas for meeting the State’s increasing energy needs.
Mr. Gehlot, who met Dr. Singh in New Delhi, said Rajasthan was the only State where there was no refinery despite crude oil being extracted in a huge quantity. “Our State currently enjoys one-fifth share in the country’s crude production. The refinery will speed up development of backward western Rajasthan districts.”
Referring to the energy scenario, Mr. Gehlot said the State Government had sanctioned five coal power projects of 7,750 MW based on super critical technology and three gas-based projects of 330 MW each. Because of insufficient availability of coal and gas, the projects had not made much headway, he added.
Requesting for long-term coal linkages and allotment of coal and gas, Mr. Gehlot said the 12th Five Year Plan’s targets would be met only when the 12 per cent deficit in power supply against the demand in the State was resolved and the increasing energy needs were met.
Mr. Gehlot also met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and several Union Ministers during his visit to the national Capital since Tuesday to discuss with them the issues confronting the desert State and take up the matter of Central assistance for various development schemes.
His visit to New Delhi just before the “Chintan Shivir” of Congress in Jaipur has been perceived here as linked with the Assembly elections due later this year. The completion of pending projects would evidently provide an edge to the ruling Congress in the polls.