Special Correspondent

CHANDIGARH: Haryana Power Minister Venod Sharma has termed as "misleading" a statement by former Haryana Finance Minister and senior Indian National Lok Dal leader Sampat Singh criticising the Hooda Government for "perennial power failure" in the State. Mr. Sharma said the INLD leader's statement was politically motivated and baseless.

He asserted that the State's own power generation capacity was about 1,500 MW and not 4,000 MW as claimed by Professor Sampat Singh. He said that it was again totally wrong to say that no work for power projects was initiated by the present State Government.

Continuous effort

The Chief Minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, had been continuously trying to improve the power situation in the State which was earlier in a total mess thanks to the "wrong policies and lack of interest" by the erstwhile INLD Government. He claimed that record power, showing a 10 per cent increase over last year, was supplied during April to June this year. It was because of the efforts of the Chief Minister that the power situation had improved in the State as compared to last year as well as that of previous years.

This, he said, had happened because the Government was committed to supply power to all sectors. Though there had been overall shortage of power in the country, the State Government's endeavour was to purchase any available power from surplus states to overcome the shortage.

New plants

While referring to the issue of future planning for power generation, Mr. Sharma said that it was a "blatant lie" to say that nothing had happened in this direction.

The work to set up a 600 MW power plant at Yamunanagar had been taken in hand and it would be completed on schedule.

A thermal power plant of 1,000 - 1,200 MW was in very advanced stage of implementation at Hisar. A coal-based plant of 1,000 - 1,200 MW would come up in district Jhajjar, he added. He added that the Government had decided to add additional generation capacity of 5,000 MW in the next five years that would positively ease the power situation.