COIMBATORE: With the Central government fixing a target of 20,000 mw solar energy generation by 2020, the nation faces the task of generating 2,000 mw every year from now on, the former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, said here on Thursday.

But, solar energy alone could not meet the total requirement. The country had a 7,000-km-long coastline that could be tapped for wind energy. Other energy sources also should be tapped to supplement solar energy, Mr. Kalam said after inaugurating a solar thermal power research and development centre of the K.G. Group. He also met children who had undergone free surgery under a Government scheme to correct congenital defects in the heart.

Science and technology should be used as a vehicle for the economic uplift of a country. At the same time challenges such as climate change, diseases, economic slowdown and terrorism needed to be tackled.

If India had to be a fully developed nation by 2020, the iron curtain between various sectors should be removed. “Do away with compartmentalisation over the next 11 years and work together to form a distinct profile for the country. Removing rural-urban divide, equitable distribution of energy and potable water and ensuring that social status does not deny education to meritorious students are some of the key areas of focus,” he said.

The country should have a good climate for investment, good health and must be free from crime and terrorism. It must also be self-reliant in critical technology. He urged educational institutions and other agencies to form inter-departmental teams to identify how each section could contribute for a good development profile.

Responding to a call from Mr. Kalam that the K.G. Group touch 5 mw solar energy generation by 2014, K.G. Hospital Chairman G. Bakthavathsalam said a 1 mw solar power plant would be established at Manamadurai in Sivaganga district. It would also be a part of a 10 mw solar thermal power station in Gujarat and a 100 mw plant at Udangudi, near Thuthukudi.

Mr. Kalam was greeted by five children who underwent heart surgery under the Ilam Sirar Irudaya Paadukaappu Thittam. These children were out of the 450 beneficiaries of the scheme who were at the function, Dr. Bakthavathsalam said.

Instead of a formal speech, the former President got into an interactive mode with a number of school students. The interaction was on leadership qualities, on creating a library at home that could bring about a knowledge revolution in the State. He stressed the role of the primary school teachers in shaping the mind and future of the students.

Dr. Kalam released a book on preventing heart diseases brought out by the hospital.

Coimbatore Collector P. Umanath and Coimbatore Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra received copies of the book from the former President.

Managing Director of KG Information Systems Limited Ashok Bakthavathsalam spoke.