Tamil Nadu will become power surplus by 2012 thanks to projects taken up by the DMK government to meet the increasing demand for electricity in the wake of rapid industrial growth and overall economic development, the State Assembly was informed on Friday.

“By the end of the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007—12), the demand for electricity is estimated to be around 14,224 mw and the generation expected to be at 16,425 mw. Thus, Tamil Nadu will become a power surplus State in the year 2012,” Governor Surjit Singh Barnala said in his address to the Assembly.

He said while industrial growth and overall development have pushed the demand for electricity upwards, generation had increased “only marginally” in the last five years.

“The demand for electricity is growing on account of rapid industrial growth and overall economic development. It had increased from 8,209 mw at the end of 2005—06 to 11,000 mw in 2010—11. Generation of electricity by the TNEB has increased only marginally from 5,383 mw to 5,572 mw during the period,” Mr. Barnala said.

“Long gestation period and lack of farsighted planning in the past has led to the present crisis,” he said.

Mr. Barnala said the projects taken up by the DMK government include the 1200 mw North Chennai thermal power station, 1500 mw thermal power plant at Vallur, 1,000 mw Tuticorin power plant and some private sector projects.

These will add an additional capacity of 900 mw during 2010—11 itself, he said.

AIADMK and other opposition parties have been charging the DMK with leading the State to a power crisis but the ruling party had blamed the previous AIADMK Government for failure to initiate enough projects to meet the surging demand for electricity, especially in the wake of fast—paced industrialisation.

On the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, Mr. Barnala said many civilians were still “languishing” in camps and not even preliminary steps had been initiated on the long—cherished political solution.

“The attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy continue to take place. The government is deeply concerned about all these developments and urges the Central Government to take immediate steps to protect the fishermen and mitigate the sufferings of Sri Lankan Tamils,” he said.

On the recent rain havoc, the Governor said the annual rainfall had exceeded the average but that will not affect food production which had touched 84 lakh tonne in 2009—10 against 71 lakh tonne in 2008—09.

“Despite the damage caused by floods in certain districts, production is expected to go up,” he said.

The Governor also said a world class Mega Science City for facilitating higher scientific research will be established here by bringing together more than 69 institutes of advanced research like Anna University and IIT.

New government medical colleges would be set up in Ramanathapuram, Dindigul and Cuddalore districts, he said, adding, a University of Indian medicine and Homeopathy would be established in Kanyakumari.