Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said on Tuesday that the State would not only start getting uninterrupted 24 hours' power supply but would actually start selling electricity to other States in the next two and a half years.

Addressing a rally at Rajpura in Patiala district that government officials described as “the largest gathering of Punjabis ever in this part of the State,” Mr. Badal said that the State Government's efforts in this direction had brought Punjab to the take off stage where power generation was set to double from the present 6900 MWs to nearly 14000 MWs.

Earlier, Mr. Badal laid the foundation stone of state-or-the-art 1320 MW Mega Thermal Plant designed, developed and operated by Larsen & Toubro through its wholly owned subsidiary Nabha Power Limited over an area of 1080 acre in Nalash village at an estimated cost of Rs.9000 crore.

Mr. Badal said that the total supply of the power in the State was approximately 6000 MW against a demand of 9000 MW resulting in a short fall of nearly 33 percent, which would covered up by setting up four thermal plants. The State Government had also embarked upon a programme to generate power from non conventional and renewable sources of energy.

He pointed out that the total generation in this sector was only 65 MW in 2007 and now 202 MW had been added by installing 29 mini bio-mass power plants which would be further enhanced to 400 MW within next two years. Another 1000 MW would be tapped by establishing gas based power plant at Ropar.

Speaking on the occasion, the Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal said that State Government would pass on the benefits accrued from the sale of power to the consumers by cutting down on electricity rates. Power would be made available to the people at rates that could be the cheapest in the country, he declared.

Mr. Sukhbir Singh said that the infrastructure and power were the core sectors for the development, for which the Akali Dal-BJP government was committed to undertake major programmes. He said that the Punjab was all set to emerge on the international air map with the setting up of Mohali International Airport and Rs. 17000 crore Greenfield Airport near Ludhiana.

He said that the up-gradation of Amritsar International Airport was on and expansion of Sahnewal Domestic Airport was near completion .A domestic Civil Terminal at Bathinda was likely to be commissioned within next three to four months.